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#Goodnews – Kobad Ghandy cleared of terror charges

| Nirnimesh Kumar 

A file photo of Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy being brought to the district court in Karimnagar amid tight security. | Special Arrangement
Delhi Court, however, holds the Maoist ideologue guilty of cheating and forgery

A Delhi court on Friday acquitted Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy, 68, of terror charges but held him guilty of cheating and forgery.

However, Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh sentenced the Maoist leader for the period of imprisonment he had already undergone during the trial.

“Kobad Ghandy is in custody since September 20, 2009, which is almost six years and six months. I therefore impose upon him a term of imprisonment already undergone by him and fine of Rs.10,000. In default of payment of the fine, he shall undergo a further simple imprisonment for two months,” the judge said.

Pending casesHowever, Mr. Ghandy may not come out of jail as he is also facing prosecution in other cases in other parts of the country.

The judge acquitted Mr. Ghandy of the charge of being a member of a banned outfit and furthering its activities under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA. But he held him guilty of cheating, forgery and impersonation. Mr. Ghandy was held guilty under various provisions of the IPC, including Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery).

“None of the evidence relied upon by the prosecution has been found to be admissible in evidence by the court. The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses suffer from infirmities,” the court said. “In the facts and circumstances of this case, there are reasonable doubts on the version of the prosecution on charges under Sections 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) and 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) of the UAPA,” the judge said.

Police chargeAccording to the Delhi police, Mr. Ghandy was involved in setting up a new network of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist in Delhi. He was living in the city to propagate the activities of the CPI-Maoist and he was helped in it by co-accused Rajinder Kumar, the police alleged. They arrested him on September 20, 2009 when he was undergoing treatment for cancer at a hospital.

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