17 March 2023 7:54 AM GMT
Granting bail to the 'Hathras Conspiracy' case accused Activist Atikur Rehman, the Allahabad High Court noted that the state could not show any financial gain received by him barring a sum of Rs. 5K, which was received in his bank account.UAPA Activist Rehman, who was arrested in October 2020 along with journalist Siddique Kappan and two others, on his way to Hathras to meet the family members...
Granting bail to the 'Hathras Conspiracy' case accused Activist Atikur Rehman, the Allahabad High Court noted that the state could not show any financial gain received by him barring a sum of Rs. 5K, which was received in his bank account.
UAPA Activist Rehman, who was arrested in October 2020 along with journalist Siddique Kappan and two others, on his way to Hathras to meet the family members of a gang rape and murder victim, has been in jail since October 2020.
However, Rehman will continue to be in prison since he is yet to get bail in the Prevention of Money Laundering Activities (PMLA) case pending against him. In September last year, Rahman's family and lawyer had claimed that Rehman become "partially paralyzed" and "highly disoriented".
Granting him bail in the case, the bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Renu Agarwal observed that in the counter affidavit, which was filed after the filing of the charge sheet, did not spell out any strong reason which may justify UAPA Accused activist's continued detention.
The Court, in its March 15 order, a copy of which was released today, also noted that the charges against Rehman were framed without affording him a due opportunity of hearing in the trial, and hence, the said order was set aside by the HC earlier remitting the matter back to the trial court for proceeding afresh in accordance with the law.
The Court also factored into account the orders of the HC and the SC granting bail to the two co-accused (Siddique Kappan and Mohammad Alam) who are named in the same FIR.
In fact, during the course of the hearing, when the Court made a pointed query to the AGA as to whether there is any generation of funds in which the appellant was involved to garner his financial position so as to threaten the harmony or security of the State, the AGA could not show any financial gain based on tangible evidence barring a sum of Rs. 5K credited to his bank account.
"The might of the State is bound by the constitutional morality and any departure would come to the rescue of the person aggrieved for Article 21 of the Constitution of India is the grundnorm," the Court observed further as it found grounds to grant him bail.
However, Rehman has been directed by the Court to not indulge in any activity in furtherance of the offences attributed against him in the charge sheet. The Court also clarified that the conditions of bail as have been imposed in the case of co-accused persons shall equally apply in this case.
Rehman has further been directed to mark his presence in the local police station at the place where he pursues education or works for gainful employment, and apprise about his whereabouts in the register maintained in that behalf.
It may be recalled that in 2020, the UP Police's Special Task Force had booked Rehman and seven others, including journalist Siddique Kappan, under Sections 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Sedition (S. 124-A IPC), Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion (S. 153-A IPC), deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings (S. 295-A IPC) and Section 65, 72 and 75 of the IT Act.
Kappan was released from jail last month over 1 month after he was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case. In September last year, the Supreme Court granted him bail in all other cases, however, he could not get out of jail due to the pendency of the PMLA case.
Interestingly, the Allahabad High Court had noted that except for the allegations that ₹5K was transferred to the bank account of his co-accused (Atikur Rahman), there was no other transaction, either in the bank account of Kappan or in the co-accused bank account.
Counsel for Appellant: Sheeran Mohiuddin Alavi
Counsel for Respondent: G.A.
Case title - Atikur Rehman vs. State of UP [CRIMINAL APPEAL No. - 2674 of 2022]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 97
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