Accused under detention for over three years gets bail

The Bombay High Court on Monday noted that mere possession and circulation of fake currency cannot be termed an act of terror under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The court, therefore, granted bail to Ravi Dhiren Ghosh, arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in 2009 for alleged possession of counterfeit notes. The case was later taken up by the National Investigation Agency.

Referring to the UAPA, Justice A.M. Thipsay remarked, “Circulation of counterfeit currency, even if it is printed in a foreign country can’t be considered, by definition, as a terrorist act. Prima facie, the act being attributed to the applicant, Ghosh, cannot be termed a terrorist act, and the provisions of UAPA cannot be invoked.”

The court also noted that there was no material to suggest that Ghosh was part of a “larger conspiracy,” where notes were printed in a foreign land and sent to India “to ruin the Indian economy.”

According to the ATS, Ghosh was arrested in May 2009, and found to be in possession of 200 notes of Rs. 1,000 denomination.

Justice Thipsay considered Ghosh’s continuing detention for the past three and a half years, with no sign of the trial beginning soon. Moreover, there was no material on record in terms of an FIR or case diary to show that the ATS had received some “secret information” upon which they acted against Ghosh.

The court granted him bail on a surety of Rs. 75,000.