Kobad Ghandy to be tried under UAPA: Court

A Delhi court on Monday accepted a fresh set of charges filed by the Delhi Police against suspected Maoist sympathiser Kobad Ghandy under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The court said the 65-year-old would face trial for being a member of a banned terrorist outfit, CPI(Maoist), and promoting its activities here.

“I hereby take cognisance for the offences punishable under Section 20 and 38 of the UAPA (for being member of a banned outfit and promoting its activity) against accused Kobad Ghandy,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav said.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had filed fresh charges against Ghandy after a sessions court had dropped all charges against him under the anti-terror law for want of proper sanction. However, while it held that defect in obtaining sanction was incurable, it said that there was enough material to make out a case against him under certain actions of the Act.

“There is sufficient material on record to make out a prima facie case for offences punishable under Section 20 and 38 of the UAPA against accused Kobad Ghandy,” the court had observed.

Ghandy and his co-accused Rajender alias Arvind Joshi also stand charged for impersonation, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

The court held that evidence collected against Joshi indicated that he had helped Ghandy in obtaining a fake voter ID and PAN cards so that he could live in Delhi and carry out his activities under the assumed name.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Yadav said the proceedings for all offences would take place before the sessions court as they were closely connected. The CMM directed that Ghandy would be tried jointly with Joshi, rejecting the latter’s argument that he cannot be tried with Ghandy as the sessions court has stated that no case under the UAPA was made out against him.

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