Indian Supreme Court stops Musumba harassment
The Supreme Court of India has ordered Police there to stop harassing Uganda’s former minister, Isaac Musumba, Igara east MP, Michael Mawanda and businessman, Mathias Magoola.
Speaking from India on Tuesday, Musumba said the court also gave police chiefs in India a period of three weeks
“The ruling was on Friday and we got the order on Monday,” Musumba said.
Musumba explained that on May 10, he and others petitioned the Supreme Court (Writ Petition 80 of 2013) against the Indian state of Maharashtra. The petition, he said, was against the Additional Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner Police and the Inspector of Police and was called for hearing on the same day.
“We said that we are greatly inconvenienced by the police and our liberties like the liberty to movement, have been compromised by the police on account of a malicious, fictitious, ill-conceived criminal complaint which was made by some people who come from Videocon.”
He said, “The police acting on this malicious ill-founded criminal complaint to behave as if they are agents of Videocon in the sense that they continue to ignore the fact about our bonafide trip to India and instead of addressing the issues of my client’s claim against Videocon, they continue to behave as if we are the ones in error.”
Court, according to Musumba also ordered that the complaints against them should also be added to the petition as respondents and must file their defence.
“The complainants Marden Fernandes, Anjay Prakash Mahnot, Bhagwan Dharmaji Gawai and Suresh Hedge will be impleaded as respondents. Cause title be amended accordingly,” an electronic copy of the order seen by the New Vision states in part.
“Mr. K L Taneja present in court accepts notice on behalf of the newly added respondents. Reply if any be filed by them within three weeks,” the order signed by court masters, Kalyani Gupta and Sharda Kapoor stated. Court set June 19 as the date for hearing the case.
“In the meantime, no coercive measures will be taken against any of the petitioners by the respondents,” court said.
Asked about the way forward Musumba said, “In the meantime, we are supposed to come (home) anytime. What we need now is more diplomatic pressure. Court in essence says we are free to go anywhere anytime.”
For about a month now Musumba and his colleagues are still in India over claims that they attempted to extort $20m (sh50b) from directors of Videocon India, an electronics company. However, Musumba denies the allegations.
He, however, reiterated that they have never been arrested in India as alleged, charged or gone to any police station there.
In an earlier interview, he explained that Videocon owes his client, Magoola $37m (about Sh96b) over a mining business transaction and the he (Musumba) had accompanied him to India to ask for the money.
When contacted on Tuesday about the fate of the trio, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador James Mugume said, “They went to court. We have to wait until court decides.”