Acting on the NIA’s appeal, the Kerala High Court on Monday set aside the bail granted to former CPI(M) cadre Thwaha Fasal (24) who was arrested on charges of Maoist links. However, the court did not cancel the bail granted to his co-accused and another former CPI(M) cadre Allan Shuhaib, considering “his age (20) and psychiatric issues”.’
The two were suspended from the CPI(M) after their arrests in November 2019 and have been facing charges under the stringent UAPA. The CPI(M) central leadership had slammed the use of UAPA charges but Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had gone by the police report in the case. They were granted bail by the NIA court in Kochi in September last year.
While cancelling the bail of Thwaha, a journalism student, the court invalidated the observation of the NIA court that “it is doubtful whether the prosecution has made out a prima facie case regarding the second postulate that the affiliation and support rendered by the accused to the banned organisation were done with the intent to encourage, further, promote or facilitate the commission of terrorist activities. In other words, the petitioners were able to bring out a rational and reasonable doubt on the question of prima facie case.”
The High Court said the trial court has gone beyond the scope of the prima facie probe for the purpose of bail consideration. It said the documents seized from the accused were of serious nature and “the (seized) materials are not innocent and innocuous which can be ignored in a light-hearted manner”. The court also rejected the contention of the accused that they kept the literature due to youthful inquisitiveness. “Circumstances are suffice to say, at least in this stage, that they are protagonists of the banned organisation.”
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