Naxalite Kobad Ghandy freed for lack of evidence

New Delhi,:   Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain framed charges against 65-year-old Gandhy under various provisions of the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation in the case in which he is accused of trying to set up a base for banned outfit CPI (Maoist).

The court, however, discharged Ghandy of the charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act due to improper sanction from the authorities.

“In my opinion, case is made out against Ghandy under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act but I am discharging (of the charges under UAP Act) him for want of proper sanction,” the judge said.

Confirming the development, his lawyer Rebecca John told a TV news channel, “The sanction by the government to prosecute him was found to be defective by the court.”

“It is time the government realises that people with a particular view point cannot be put in jail,” she added.

Gandhy was facing trial for allegedly trying to set up a base of his banned outfit in the capital.

He was was also chargesheeted by the Delhi Police under various stringent charges of UAPA, besides those of cheating, forgery and impersonation under the Indian Penal Code. The 64-year-old Ghandy was arrested by Special Cell of Delhi Police in September 2009.

The investigators, who claimed to have recovered a fake voter identity and pan cards from Ghandy, also referred to a CD in which he was shown to be addressing armed cadres of the banned organisation.

They had pointed out that after his arrest, Jharkhand police inspector Francis Induwar was abducted and killed by Maoists on October 6, 2009 and leaflets were distributed in Maharashtra for bandh in protest against his detention.In the supplementary charge sheet, the police had put on record a fresh sanction to prosecute Gandhy under section 45 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Gandhy’s counsel had opposed it on the ground that the sanction was improper.”At the time of institution of the first charge sheet, there was a sanction. That sanction was incorrectly obtained.Now, this supplementary charge sheet has been filed to cure a defect. It is not a charge sheet but a curative petition,” Gandhy’s counsel had said.

The prosecution had denied any illegality in the first sanction and maintained that a fresh sanction was obtained in the light of the amendment to the UAP Act.

Ghandy studied at the Doon School and St. Xavier College in Bombay. He later went to London to complete his Chartered Accountancy. From 1975-77, he started a Human Rights Group, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights in Mumbai. The late seventies and early eighties showed Kobad’s inclination towards Communism.