73 yr old Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy gets bail

Last Updated 14 October 2019, 17:43 IST

In a breather to the 73-year-old Naxal ideologue, a Surat court on Monday ordered the release of Kobad Ghandy on regular bail in connection with a nine-year-old sedition case registered by the local police.

The court gave relief to Ghandy on the ground of parity with other co-accused who have been released on bail and appeals against their releases were not entertained either by Gujarat High Court or the Supreme Court.

The Additional Sessions judge Mobin A Tailor pronounced the order for Ghandy’s release on several conditions, including regularly appearing before the trial court, not leaving the country and executing a personal bond of Rs 25,000 along with one surety of the same amount in the court.

Ghandy was represented in the court by senior lawyer Kirit Panwala, who had argued during the hearing that for the past nine years, police had been using a “modus operandi” to keep him in jail.

The prosecution, on the other hand, submitted that Ghandy along with co-accused “is involved in Naxalites activities which are harmful to the nation. If the applicant will be released on bail, he will again indulge in some anti-national activities.”

Granting the bail, the judge has noted that Ghandy is a 73-year-old who is suffering from many health ailments. The order states that a chargesheet has already been filed against co-accused who are already out on bail and therefore he can be given the benefit of parity.

Ghandy was arrested by Surat police on August 26 and was brought here from Jharkhand jail on transit warrant for its case registered in 2010 for sedition and various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2014.

23 other accused had been arrested by the police in the past. Another accused in the case is said to be absconding.

Surat police has alleged that Ghandy and other co-accused were trying to spread Naxal movement in south Gujarat and were targeting tribals and migrant labourers in Surat to incite violence against the state.

The police have cited only alleged meetings where the plans were discussed. He and others have been alleged for inciting tribals "in the name of helping them seek forest right."

(Published 14 October 2019, 14:16 IST)

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