The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kamrup Metropolitan on Friday slapped a fine of ₹ 2,000 on Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma while accepting their plea to defer appearance in a case related to alleged violation of model code of conduct during Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
Before accepting the joint plea by the two, there was a bit drama in the courtroom with the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) A K Baruah issuing a bailable warrant (of ₹ 1,000 each) against Sarma and his wife as they failed to appear and there was no representation on their behalf till 10:55 am.
However, the duo’s advocate reached the courtroom later at 11 am and submitted two petitions on their behalf.
In the first petition, Sarma and his wife prayed for adjournment to give more time and also requested furnishing of copies of documents not yet received from the complainant. The second plea was for recalling the warrant.
The advocate of the accused mentioned that the Chief Minister was busy with the visit of the President of India to Assam, while his wife was also busy with her pre-fixed engagements.
“…to do justice to both the parties, the prayer of the two accused for allowing adjournment for four weeks time for appearance is partly allowed on condition of payment of cost of ₹ 2,000,” the court order said.
The Judge also recalled the warrant, against them “on condition that the two accused will appear before this Court on next date” and fixed March 21 for their appearance.
The case was filed by the Additional Chief Electoral Officer in May 2019 against Sarma, who was a minister holding several portfolios in former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s government, and News Live TV Channel for allegedly violating model code of conduct (MCC) in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.