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Court issues production warrant against Irom Sharmila

Irom Sharmila

Sharmila, the Manipuri activist, has been on a fast for over 12 years demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in her home state

Irom SharmilaNew Delhi: A Delhi court today issued production warrant for January 30 against rights activist Irom Sharmila after she failed to turn up in a case lodged against her for allegedly attempting suicide during her fast-unto- death here in 2006.

The Manipuri activist, who has been on a fast for over 12 years demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in her home state, did not appear before the court despite its October 30 direction in that regard.

Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain issued the production warrant for January 30, next year. The matter is fixed for recording of prosecution evidence in the case.

During the proceedings, Sharmila’s counsel appeared before the court.

On March 4, the court had put 40-year-old Sharmila on trial after she had refused to plead guilty for the offence of attempting to commit suicide (section 309 IPC). If convicted, Sharmila, who is out on bail in this case, faces a maximum jail term of one year.

Popularly known as the “Iron Lady”, Sharmila had earlier said her protest was non-violent. She has been on fast since 2000 and is fed through a nasal tube.

She had rejected the charge that she had attempted suicide in 2006 and had told the court, “I do not want to commit suicide. Mine is only a non-violent protest. It is my demand to live as a human being. I love life. I do not want to take my life but I want justice and peace.”

While framing charges against the activist, the court had said, “It is alleged against you (Sharmila)…that you on October 4, 2006 at about 8 PM sat at Jantar Mantar on a fast unto death uptil 11.30 PM on October 6, 2006 and refused to get your medical checkup done and thereby, committed an act with an intention or knowledge that under such circumstances death may be caused and thereby, committed an offence under Section 309 of IPC.”

Earlier, Sharmila’s counsel had requested the magistrate that due to ill health, the activist may not be asked to appear before the court again and again.

The magistrate, however, had said that if she was not in a position to appear, an appropriate application for exemption should be moved on her behalf but the court cannot pass a blanket order.

The counsel had said Sharmila has already spent one year in judicial custody which is the maximum sentence for the offence under section 309 IPC.


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