December 17, 2021 9:45:18 am
A division bench of Kerala High Court on Thursday granted bail to a 67-year-old suspected Maoist undertrial, charged under Section 43D(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Granting bail to Ibrahim alias Babu, who was arrested in 2015 and lodged in judicial custody since then, the bench of Justice K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran said, “that the accused shared the same ideology of another accused, that he was living with the other accused, that he was aware of the planning (of attack) — prima facie there is nothing to show his involvement.”
Ibrahim was arrested in 2015 in connection with an attack on the house of a civil police officer in Wayanad in 2014. When the NIA took over the probe, it charged him under Section 43D(5) of UAPA, which says that “no person accused of an offense punishable under Chapters IV and VI of this Act shall, if in custody, be released on bail or on his own bond unless the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity of being heard on the application for such release”.
The NIA charge said Ibrahim, a native of Meppadi in Wayanad, had supplied weapons to a group engaged in propounding Maoist ideology. The group had allegedly threatened to kill a civil police officer involved in anti-Maoist operations and set his two-wheeler ablaze. The NIA had made another accused TV Rajeesh an approver, an auto driver at Payyoli in Kozhikode, in the case.
The division bench in its bail order observed that the evidence against Ibrahim is that of the approver, who in a statement under section 164 of Cr PC had said that he had seen the accused living and moving with another accused Anoop Mathew (currently in judicial custody). When the approver was with the other two accused persons, one of them, Mathew, made some statement about the intended action. Mathew carried four bags, the shape and weight of which indicated that the objects inside the bags were arms.
The Court observed that “prima facie there is nothing to show his involvement.’’ It also considered that the appellant is suffering from multiple ailments while granting bail.
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