PASA against call centre accused: Gujarat High Court hints ‘liberty’ requires to be ‘protected’, issues notice to state govt

In another petition moved by one of the accused detained under PASA, the court issued notice to the state.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: February 11, 2017 1:17:45 am
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Days after Ahmedabad city police detained eight accused caught for running illegal call centres, under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA), a first-of-its-kind move, the Gujarat High Court has hinted that “liberty” is required to be protected. In another petition moved by one of the accused detained under PASA, the court issued notice to the state.

The HC, while issuing notice to the state government on Thursday, held, “Having considered the allegations made in the FIRs and considering the provisions of IT Act and the PASA Act, the apprehension of the petitioner is well-founded. Therefore, liberty of the petitioner is required to be protected.” The observation came on a petition moved by one of the accused Thomas B Patel, one of the key accused, who moved the court anticipating detention under PASA.

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Patel moved the court saying that except FIRs “no material is available with the competent authority to detain the petitioner under the provisions of the PASA Act”. The court issued rule to the respondent authorities, returnable on March 18. The court also directed the authority “not to detain the petitioner on account of registration of the offence/s as mentioned herein above till returnable date.”

Patel is alleged to be one of the masterminds of illegal call centres. The Satellite police had lodged an FIR against him in 2015 and the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch registered two separate FIRs last year. The city police have so far arrested more than three dozen youngsters for running illegal call centres through they duped US citizens while posing as tax officials. Earlier this month, Ahmedabad police commissioner detained eight accused under PASA, 1985. Normally, PASA is invoked for habitual offenders and persons who become “dangerous” for maintaining law and order issues.


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