SC grants bail to terror accused charged under UAPA

New Delhi, Oct 1 : The Supreme Court has granted bail to a person accused under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

A bench comprising Justices R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha and K.M. Joseph said: “We have perused Section 43D (5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. We have also perused the FIR, where the petitioner is not named, and, the relevant extracts of the charge sheet dated September 17, 2014, insofar as it relates to the petitioner.”

The bench did not agree with the Rajasthan High Court decision declining bail to accused Aadil Ansari, who was booked under Section 43D(5) of the UAPA for allegedly indulging in terror activities, and has spent close to six years in the jail.

Noting that it has also perused the high court order dated October 26, 2014 denying bail, the bench said: “We are satisfied that the High Court judgment stating that a prima facie case has been made out against the petitioner based on the public prosecutor’s statement cannot be said to be strictly correct.”

Under the UAPA, it is considered extremely tough to get bail and the court can deny bail, if the prosecution suggests the allegations are “prima facie true”.

The top court, in a short order in the matter, said: “Having perused these documents, without saying anything more, so as not to prejudice the trial, we set aside the judgment of the High Court and enlarge the petitioner on bail, subject to the usual conditions to be imposed by the trial court. The Special Leave Petition stands disposed of.”

The accused was facing trial under the UAPA for allegedly aiding the escape of a terror suspect from whose house police had recovered explosive material.

The prosecution had argued that there was prima facie evidence against Ansari, but advocate on record Irshad Hanif, representing him, contended that police did not have any solid evidence against him.

–IANS

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