KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday quashed the charges slapped under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code against Maoist leader Roopesh in three cases registered in Kuttiadi and Valayam police stations in Kozhikode.
The government sat over a sanction for six months the framing of UAPA charges violating the time frame of seven days prescribed in the rules, the court said, in its order. A Division Bench comprising Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice C Jayachandran issued the order while allowing the petition filed by Roopesh seeking to quash the cases.
The authority headed by a retired high court judge had recommended charging the section against the petition based on the letter of the home department on February 7, 2018. The sanction of the state government in the first two crimes was on June 6, 2018, and in the other crime on April 7, 2018; both delayed. In the UAPA and the Rules framed thereunder, a specific time of seven days is provided. The Authority has to make a recommendation, after which the appropriate Government also has to issue a sanction within another seven days from the receipt of the recommendation, argued the petitioner.
"Amidst the raging controversy as to the retention of offence of sedition in the IPC; which the naysayers categorise as a relic of the colonial past; a symbol of British hegemony and the votaries support in the wake of rising anti-national feelings under the cloak of liberal thought, the Government sat over a sanction for six months, violating the time frame prescribed in the rules," observed the Bench.
The Bench held that the sanction under the UAPA granted after six months from the date of receipt of the recommendation of the authority is not a valid sanction. "We find the sanction order of the UAPA to be not brought out in time, as statutorily mandated and
bereft of any application of mind; both vitiating the cognizance was taken by the Special Court," observed the court.