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Sessions Court comment on UAPA provisions pemature: HC

Sessions Court comment on UAPA provisions pemature: HC

Kochi: Kerala High Court today dismissed the lower court's stand that UAPA provisions would apply to the two students arrested for  Maoist links in Kozhikode,

The High Court passed this observation while rejecting the bail petitions of  Thaha Fasal and Alan Shuhaib who have been under arrest for links with Maoist organisatons.  The bench said that though it neither agreed nor disagreed  with the view of the lower court,  it deemed such an assessment about the case while considering a bail plea, was unwarranted and was hasty.

It is only through the trial that a decision should be taken about which criminal charges would stand.   The state attorney who appeared for the government also opined that at the preliminary stage of the enquiry,  such a comment was uncalled for.  Both comments came when the petitioners argued that the observation by the Sessions court about the UAPA charges, was inappropriate.

The petitioners pleaded that the arrest was unlawful and that a sub-inspector was not competent to  make arrests without being specifically authorised for it.   But the government counsel countered this by saying that the home secretary had granted the required authority for this  to the officer concerned .

The bench however pointed out that the questions  whether slapping UAPS charges was unlawful or valid,  should not influence the enquiry.  The court also endorsed the arrests as it complied with the provision in the UAPA Act  that a police officer of a minimum rank of DySP or equivalent should be the one making the arrests.   Becoming a member of a banned organization knowingly and working for it is an offence,  but there is no relevance in probing this aspect at this stage of the case.

The court also accepted the prosecution's contention that it is difficult at this stage to present all material evidence to prove that the accused were guilty.

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