State Must Protect Rights, Liberties of Citizens, Says SC, Seeks Status Report on Probe Against Law Intern

The state machinery must take responsibility to protect the rights and liberties of its citizens guaranteed under the Constitution, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi made the observation while asking the Madhya Pradesh government to file a status report on the investigation carried out so far in the FIR registered against Sonu Mansoori, a law intern, who is alleged to have links with the banned Popular Front of India (PFI).

She was in jail since January 28 for filming proceedings at a court in Indore and was granted bail by the top court on March 22.

“State machinery must take responsibility to protect the rights and liberties of the citizens. Liberty is protected under the Constitution and state is obligated to protect the rights of its citizens,” the bench told Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the Madhya Pradesh government.

At the outset, he said the case is under investigation and the state will file a status report on the probe carried out so far. Mansoori is named as an accused in the FIR, Nataraj.

The bench said that the state must ensure that there is an independent investigation.

It posted the matter for further hearing on May 11 and asked the state government to ensure the safety of the woman.

On March 22, the Supreme Court had taken note of the submissions of Natraj that he has no objection if bail is granted to Mansoori.

“After having heard learned counsel for the parties and taking into consideration the material on record, we are inclined to release Petitioner No. 2 – Sonu Mansoori from jail, to which the learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the State has no objection. Ordered accordingly,” it had said.

The top court directed that Mansoori be released from jail forthwith on furnishing of personal bond of Rs 5,000 to the satisfaction of the trial court.

“Let this order be communicated through the Registrar General of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh forthwith. The interim application is disposed of accordingly,” the bench had said in its order.

The state police had claimed that the woman had links with PFI and had filmed the court proceedings at Indore at the instance of the banned group.

The police alleged that the woman had told the investigators that an advocate had asked her to make the video to be sent to the PFI and she was given Rs 3 lakh for the work.

A state police officer had said the woman filmed the proceedings when the court was hearing a case related to Bajrang Dal leader Tanu Sharma.

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