Odisha Court Awards Life Imprisonment To Maoist Leader Sabyasachi Panda For 'Conspiring To Wage War Against GoI' [Read Judgment]
A District and Sessions Court in Odisha has convicted and sentenced Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda to life imprisonment.
Panda was found guilty of 'making conspiracy to wage war against the Government and also abetting others to wage war against the Govt. of India by using criminal force and by showing criminal force.'
The Maoist leader was arrested by police on July 18, 2014 by a team of police led by then SP (Berhampur) Anirudha Singh and was in jail ever since.
To impose life imprisonment, the court took note of the submission of the prosecution that he was organizing the Maoist activities inside as well as outside the State and caused death of so many innocent people and is involved in many cases. Additional Sessions Judge SK Sahoo, said:
Rather it is clearly held by the prosecution by way of adducing clear, cogent, clinching and trustworthy evidence that while the accused was apprehended he was attempting to wage war and abetting others to wage war against the Govt. of India so also he was making conspiracy to wage war against the Govt. and to overawe by means of criminal force. As such the offence U/Ss.121/121-A of IPC are clearly established against the accused.
The court, however, noted that starting from registration of the case till submission of the charge sheet the entire process has been done by the senior officers in a very casual manner and trial of the case has been conducted by the prosecution haphazardly and in a casual manner. The bench said:
"But considering the sum total evidences available on the case record it is in the humble opinion of this court that the case of the prosecution will not vitiate for such irregularities. As per the settled principle of law it is the duty of the court to make an attempt to separate grain from the chaff, the truth from the falsehood and by this way though many irregularities are being done by the complainant, the I.Os for the reason best known to them, but it is in the humble opinion of this court that such irregularities will not vitiate the case of the prosecution where other clear, cogent, clinching and trustworthy materials are produced by the prosecution before the court."
Finding him not guilty for the offence punishable U/S.124 of the IPC, the court also added that there is absolutely no evidence available against the accused to establish that he had assaulted or used criminal force to the President, Governor, etc. with intend to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power.