UAPA case: NIA court to decide on framing charges soon

Court will ascertain whether the accused had the intention to commit the offence

November 07, 2021 06:44 pm | Updated 06:44 pm IST - KOCHI

The Pantheerankavu Maoist case will be taken up shortly by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court, Kochi, to ascertain whether there are sufficient grounds to frame charges against the accused.

After spending nearly nine months in jail, Alan Shuhaib and Thwaha Fasal, the two youths against whom the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was invoked by the investigation agency, had secured bail from the Supreme Court last week. The apex court granted them bail after finding that the charges them did not stand prima facie. Restoring the order of the NIA Special Judge Anil Bhaskar granting bail to the duo, the apex court also held that the bail conditions imposed by the trial court would hold good.

In Nov. 2019

It was on November 1, 2019 that the Pantheerankavu police arrested the two youths, who were found under ‘suspicious circumstances’ in front of Medicare Laboratory in Kozhikode. Usman, the third accused, who fled on seeing the police, was arrested from Malappuram on September 14 this year.

The Special Court is likely to consider the cases, which had triggered a political debate in the State, of all the three accused together. While a section of senior CPI(M) leaders were compassionate towards the arrested, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan adopted a tough stance against them on the floor of the State Assembly.

The NIA court will look into the statements and materials collected by the prosecution in the case to ascertain whether there exists grounds for ‘grave suspicion’ that the accused had the intention to commit the offence. The intention of the accused would be the deciding factor in establishing their culpability, judicial sources said.

The accused would be discharged if no valid grounds are established against them. However, if the prosecution succeeds in generating a reasonable case for trial, the courts normally will frame charges and the accused will be asked to face the trial. The accused also have the option of moving a discharge petition in the case even before the court evaluates the ‘grave suspicion’ aspect, sources said.

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