NEW DELHI: Top naxal leader Kobad Ghandy, accused of trying to set up a base for the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) here, was absolved on Wednesday of stringent charges under anti-terror law by a Delhi court.
He has instead been put on trial for alleged offences of impersonation, cheating and forgery.
Additional sessions judge Pawan Kumar Jain discharged Ghandy from provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for want of proper sanction for his prosecution under the anti-terror law, while noting that he was “not a mere sympathiser” of the banned outfit but an active member.
“He exhorted armed gathering for revolution, asking them to unite people, persuaded them to follow revolutionary path and exhorted them to attack enemies,” the court said, discharging Ghandy of terror charges due to what he said was an “incurable defect” in sanction for his prosecution.
“I am of the considered opinion that there is sufficient material on record to make out a primafacie case for the offence punishable under section 20 and 38 (member of banned outfit and furthering its activities) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against accused Ghandy.
“But since, the cognisance order dated February 19, 2010 qua the offences punishable under UAPA was not in accordance with mandatory provisions of the UAPA, I hereby discharge accused Kobad Ghandy for the offences punishable under section 10/13/18/20/38 of the UAPA,” said the court.
“It is pertinent to state here that in his speech, accused Kobad Ghandy referred the elected central government of India and governments of states as ‘dushman’,” the court noted.
Ghandy was charged under various provisions of the IPC for impersonation, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
The court absolved co-accused Arvind Joshi, accused of harbouring Ghandy, from terror charges under the UAPA for lack of evidence, improper sanction