Notice to state on Kobad Ghandy’s bail plea

CHANDIGARH: Acting on a petition filed by Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy seeking bail in a criminal case registered against him in Patiala, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued notices to Punjab government and state police.

The notices were issued by Justice Ajay Tewari for January 2, while hearing the plea of Ghandy in which he had pleaded innocence, alleging false implication in the matter.

Ghandy was booked by Patiala police in January this year following a tip-off that he visited Punjabi University, Patiala, under a fake identity.

The FIR was registered against 63-year-old Ghandy and one Manoj alias Rajesh at Sadar police station, Patiala under sections 10, 13, 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and section 419 and 120 B of IPC. Ghandy, a politburo member of banned CPI (Maoist), was arrested in September 2009 in Delhi following a joint operation by intelligence agencies and police.

He is behind bars since then. In his petition filed through advocate R S Bains of the HC, Ghandy has pleaded innocence stating that he was booked for delivering a lecture in Punjabi University, Patiala in April/May 2009 for spreading Maoist activities, when CPI (Maoist) was not banned.

It was banned on June 22, 2009. He also pleaded that Lt governor, Delhi had stayed all proceedings against Ghandy, pending in different parts of the country, while exercising powers under section 268 of CrPC and as such, he has full right to bail in the matter.

It was also contended that witnesses of the prosecution agency in the case have not signed their statements. Claiming that Ghandy is an intellectual person and has written two books as well, his counsel sought directions for granting bail.

The case would come up for further hearing on January 2.

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