Jorhat, April 11: A Jorhat court today admitted a criminal defamation case against an additional deputy commissioner for allegedly issuing a notice to a lawyer of the Jorhat Bar Association addressing him as an accused in the December 23 ransacking at the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office.
Additional deputy commissioner Tamiza Rahman had allegedly issued an “illegal” notice to the lawyer, Gautam Borah, on January 5 to appear before her “court” on January 6.
She had issued notices to several lawyers while probing the ransacking incident, which was triggered when police allegedly beat up protesters, including lawyers, in front of the DC’s office. They were protesting against the administration, following a road accident on AT Road in front of the office.
Borah, while filing the petition in the court on January 11, said the notice, issued by Rahman in the capacity of an additional district magistrate, had addressed him as an accused, which was “highly defamatory”. He added that she had no such legal powers to summon a person to her chamber, which she had termed as a “court” in the notice.
He said only a judicial magistrate could issue such summons and can declare a person as an accused. “But how could the ADC address a person as an accused, while just asking him to appear before her?” Borah asked, adding that she had not mentioned under what legal powers she was issuing a summons, and how could the ADC term her office chamber as a “court” in the notice.
The magistrate, Nasim Akhtar, of the first class judicial court here, while admitting the case (no. 12/11), asked Rahman to appear in court on May 19, saying, “It appears to me that there are sufficient grounds to proceed against Tamiza Rahman under Sections 500 and 501 IPC”.
Rahman, who was out of station, said she was not aware of the development and would be able to comment only after she got a copy of the court order.
She said she had issued the notices to know about what they had to say about the incident, as she had to submit a report at the earliest to the DC on the matter, as she was probing the incident in accordance with the DC’s order.
She added that two advocates, among those served notices, however, appeared before her in her chamber and gave their statements.