A trial court on Wednesday discharged the CPI (Maoist) ex-politburo member and the police prize catch Ghandy on charges under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for want of proper sanction from authorities.
Although the court stated there was “sufficient material on record” against Ghandy to show that he was a “vibrant member” of banned terror outfit CPI (Maoist), it discharged him for an “incurable defect” in the sanction. The police has realized the error in not following procedure under the amended UAPA which requires prosecuting agency to get the sanction from the designated committee.
“Since Delhi Police have enough evidence against Ghandy and this is acknowledged by the trial court, the committee may not have any objection in giving required sanction. Once the city police gets the sanction it can file another chargesheet against the Maoist leader,” said a home ministry official.
He said there are several charges as well as evidence against the Maoist leader under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), enough to keep him behind bars pending trial.
Section 45(2) of UAPA states sanction for prosecution may be prescribed by the state government after an independent review of evidence. The court on Wednesday said the sanction order was earlier granted only on the basis of a draft charge-sheet, allegations made in the FIR and other material and evidence placed on record.
“The Lt Governor of the NCT of Delhi in the present case was deprived of the relevant material that is recommendation of competent authority necessary to consider as to whether sanction should be granted,” the court said.
The police slapped charges under the Act against Ghandy, besides booking him for various offences under the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation. It had alleged that Ghandy (65), along with his associates, was trying to build a Maoist corridor in the national capital. An alumni of the prestigious Doon School, Ghandy was said to be part of the top leadership of erstwhile CPI-ML (People’s War Group) from 1981 and continued as a Central Committee member in CPI (Maoist). He was elected to its politburo in 2007.