Tamil Nadu

HC directs suspected Maoist to owe allegiance to the Constitution as condition to grant of bail

The Madras High Court has granted bail to a suspected Maoist, arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), on condition that he should file a sworn affidavit in Tamil, affixing his thumb impression as well as signature, owing faith and allegiance to the Constitution and stating that he does not believe in the Maoist ideology.

Justices P.N. Prakash and A.A. Nakkiran also directed the bail petitioner Suresh Rajan to also execute a bond for ₹25,000 with two sureties, both blood relatives, to the satisfaction of the special court for cases investigated under the NIA Act of 2008 and appear before the special court every day at 10.30 a.m. until further orders.

The Tallakulam police in Madurai had initially booked the case against one Vivek alias Vivekanandan for posting a message on his Facebook account titled “Thozhar Vivek” on August 15, 2020. The message in Tamil read that the Independence that the country obtained in 1947 from the British was a sham and a farce.

Claiming the country was yet to get rid of feudalism, imperialism and exploitation of the poor, he had urged people to mobilise in the path of war shown by the Naxals to gain real independence. The Tallakulam police booked the case on September 1, 2020 and arrested Vivek on December 16, 2020.

Thereafter, in March 2021, the case was transferred to the NIA which arrested Suresh Rajan on June 8, 2021. According to the NIA, Vivek had opened the Facebook account using the mobile phone and SIM card belonging to Suresh Rajan and that the latter had deleted the account two days after the arrest of Vivek.

The agency had included a third accused Mohan, an advocate, too but did not arrest him since he was physically challenged. The charge against the third accused was that it was from his mobile phone Vivek had accessed the Facebook account and uploaded the objectionable message on the Independence day.

The Special Court granted bail to Vivek on May 5, 2021 on the ground that the NIA had failed to file the charge sheet within 90 days of arrest. Though NIA preferred an appeal against the grant of bail, the High Court rejected the appeal on June 28, 2021. In the meantime, the charge sheet was filed on June 11, 2021.

Hence, the Special Court dismissed Suresh Rajan’s bail application on January 10 this year leading to the present appeal. The Division Bench agreed with the appellant’s counsel R. Sankarasubbu that the appellant need not be denied the benefit of bail when the prime accused himself had been granted the benefit.

However, since NIA had claimed that the appellant was a staunch believer of Maoist ideology and after taking note of Mr. Sankarasubbu’s submission that the claim was not true, the judges directed the appellant to owe allegiance to the Constitution as a condition to enjoy the benefit of bail.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2022 6:16:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-directs-suspected-maoist-to-owe-allegiance-to-the-constitution-as-condition-to-grant-of-bail/article65379588.ece