Kolkata is yet to have a dedicated court to deal with the cases of persons booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Such a court is a legal necessity,say lawyers at Calcutta High Court which has been trying a number of UAPA cases.
Lawyers and judiciary officials said according to provisions of UAPA and NIA Act 2008,persons booked under UAPA should face the trial in a special court set up for the National Investigative Agency (NIA).
Chattradhar Mahato,PCAPA leader,Telegu Dipak,a hardcore Maoist and several other
accused booked under UAPA have been facing prosecution in regular criminal courts in absence of the special court. An NIA official said the agency had requested the Calcutta High Court in July to give permission for setting up such a court.
In the third week of November,Calcutta High Court recommended the Union Home Ministry to set up two special courts at Kolkata and Siliguri,said an HC official. The NIA official said the process of setting up the special court is underway.
Siladitya Sanyal,criminal lawyer of the Calcutta High Court,said special court constituted under Sections 11 and 21 of the NIA Act 2008 can hold trial for the accused booked under UAPA.
Mrinal Chaudhury,counsel of Chattradhar Mahato,said he had raised the issue during the hearing of framing of charges in the additional sessions court,Midnapore.
Ashoke Bakshi,special public prosecutor in the case of CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Gaur Chakraborty said if NIA investigates the case,the trial should have been held in the NIA special court .
Chakrabortys counsel Subhasish Roy said he had raised the issue before the judge of the special court during arguments but the trial continued.
An official of the Calcutta High Court said,It is the duty of the officer in-charge of a police station to apprise the state Home department if he applies the UAPA in any case. Following this,the state government would communicate it to the central Home ministry which would decide which agency would conduct the probe NIA or another agency.
UAPA cases pending in different courts:
* Trial of Gaur Chakraborty,CPI (Maoist) spokesperson City
* Telegu Dipak,hardcore Maoist Fast Track Court,Alipore.
* Maoists Madhusudhan Mondal alias Narayan,Rajesh Mondal,Sachin Ghosal,Siddhartha and Sanjay Alipore court
* Sudip Chongdar and four other Maoists CMM court,Kolkata
* Five UAPA cases,including Silda Camp attack case and Sankrail OC abduction case Jhargram court
* Three UAPA cases Purulia court
According to Bandi Mukti Committee,a human rights organisation,about 70 persons have been booked under UAPA since June 2009