A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant told the counsel representing the state government that if Tripura Police continues to harass people, then the court will summon the Home Secretary and the Superintendent of Police concerned.
It said that it had already passed an order in the matter and it should be implemented. “At least show deference to our order when we have handled an issue,” the bench told the Tripura government counsel, adding that the SP should be informed about it.
“Why should somebody be required to run to the Supreme Court? What else is this if this is not harassment,” it said.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by journalist Samiullah Shabbir Khan against a notice issued by police seeking his appearance under Section 41A (Notice of appearance before police officer) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Advocate Sharukh Alam, representing Khan, submitted that the court on January 10 passed an interim order restraining the police from acting against the journalist’s tweets.
As the Tripura government counsel urged the court to adjourn the matter for two weeks, the bench said: “We will call the SP to court and make him answerable if we find he’s trying to evade compliance by issuing notices to the people.”
“Once we have passed an order covering the issue, you must show responsibility.”
At the end of the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared and assured the bench that he will look into the matter and ensure that the sanctity of the court’s orders is ensured in letter and in spirit.
On January 10, the apex court had restrained Tripura Police from acting on its notice to Twitter Inc in connection with a journalist’s tweet about alleged communal violence in the state.
The top court, in November last year, directed Tripura Police not to take any coercive action against three people, including a journalist, in an FIR lodged under the UAPA provisions.