Digital Desk, New Delhi. The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to Thawa Fasal, one of the two students arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in November 2019 for his alleged Maoist links.
The apex court held that mere support to or association with a terrorist organization is not sufficient to attract offenses under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA.
Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S. Oka’s bench said, association with a terrorist organization alone is not sufficient to attract Section 38 and support given to a terrorist organization alone is not sufficient to attract Section 39. The top court set aside the order of the Kerala High Court, which had canceled his bail.
The top court also dismissed the Centre’s appeal challenging the order of the Kerala High Court upholding the trial court’s order granting bail to law student Alan Schueb in the UAPA case. The high court refused to cancel the bail of the second accused, Shuaib, considering his young age and health.
The bench said that the accused must have been fascinated by being promoted by CPI (Maoist) at an early age and they may have soft or hard form of various documents/books related to CPI (Maoist). However, the bench said that apart from the allegation that some photographs show that the accused had allegedly participated in a protest organized by an organization affiliated to the CPI (Maoist). Prima facie there is no material in the charge sheet to show the active participation of accused No. 1 and 2 in the activities of CPI (Maoist), from which it can also be concluded that the activities of terrorist organization or terrorist acts are further on their part. The intention was to increase
The bench further observed that prima facie, their continued association or long-term support of the organization does not rule out the charge sheet. Fasal and Shuaib are students of Journalism and Law respectively. He is also a member of the Branch Committee of the CPI (Maoist). Both were arrested from Kozhikode in November 2019. In Kerala, the CPI(M) expelled him from the party for alleged Maoist links. Police seized objectionable material allegedly in relation to Maoist ideology.
The chargesheet filed by the NIA claimed that the accused were harboring and associated with the banned Maoist organisation. Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju had argued on behalf of the NIA that he was a member of a banned organisation, and if found guilty, could face life imprisonment under the UAPA.