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Pledge Allegiance To Constitution, Swear That You Don't Believe In Maoist Ideology: Madras High Court Imposes Condition For Bail

Upasana Sajeev
4 May 2022 10:22 AM GMT
Pledge Allegiance To Constitution, Swear That You Dont Believe In Maoist Ideology: Madras High Court Imposes Condition For Bail
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The Madras High Court recently granted bail to an alleged Maoist on a condition that he shall swear an affidavit, stating that he owes faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and that he does not believe in the Maoist ideology or the ideology of the CPI(M). He shall also state that he does not believe in violence as an ideology and would do nothing to subvert the Constitution...

The Madras High Court recently granted bail to an alleged Maoist on a condition that he shall swear an affidavit, stating that he owes faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and that he does not believe in the Maoist ideology or the ideology of the CPI(M). He shall also state that he does not believe in violence as an ideology and would do nothing to subvert the Constitution of India.

The order was passed by a bench of Justice P.N Prakash and Justice AA Nakkiran in a criminal appeal preferred seeking to set aside the order of Special NIA Court refusing bail to the Appellant, Suresh Rajan.

Along with the above conditions, the court also directed the Rajan to execute a bond for a sum of Rs. 25,000/- with two sureties (blood relatives of the petitioner) for a like sum each to the satisfaction of the Special Court.

He shall also furnish his permanent address and shall inform the trial Court and the respondent about any change in his address. He was also directed to appear before the Special Court daily at 10:30 A.M and mark his signature.

The Special Court was given the liberty to cancel his bail and remand him to custody if he adopts any dilatory tactics during the trial or if any other situation so warrants. If he absconds, a fresh FIR shall be registered against him under Section 229-A IPC

Background

On 15.08.2020, one Vivek @ Vivekanandan (A1) posted a message in his Facebook Account entitled "Thozhar Vivek" which read as follows:

"The change of regime that happened in 1947 is a sham because it has not got rid of feudalism, imperialism and exploitation of the poor and therefore, August 15th is a farce independence. In order to gain real independence, let us mobilise in the path of war shown by Naxalbari."

As a result, a case was registered under Section 13(1)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Section 505(1)(b) IPC by the State police and Vivek (A.1) was arrested. The case was later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following orders of the Central Government. The NIA then arrested Suresh (A2 and the appellant herein) and remanded him to judicial custody.

Vivek was granted bail on the ground that the charge sheet was not filed within 90 days of his arrest. Meanwhile, the NIA completed the investigation and submitted final report before the Special Court for the offences under Sections 120-B, 124-A, 201 and 505(1)(b) IPC and Sections 13(1)(b), 38 and 39 of the UAP Act.

The charge against the appellant herein was that Vivek had opened the Facebook account using the sim card belonging to the appellant and two days after Vivek's arrest, the appellant had deleted the Facebook account entitled "Thozhar Vivek" by using his mobile. The plea raised by the appellant was that when neither of the co-accused was in incarceration, no purpose was served by keeping him alone in the custody.

On the other hand, NIA submitted that the appellant was an active member of the CPI(M), a banned outfit, and would continue to involve himself in subversive activities if enlarged on bail. It was also submitted that there existed other cases against the appellant for violation of prohibitory orders and engaging in dharnas. The NIA further submitted that the appellant being a member of CPI(M), an organization banned under the UAPA, believed in using violence to achieve political agenda and therefore there was no point in releasing him on bail. According to the NIA, the party believes in the bullet and not in the ballot.

However, the counsel for the appellant submitted that the appellant was neither a sympathizer nor a member of the CPI(M) group and that he had faith in the Indian Constitution. It was in light of this submission, that the court granted bail.

Case Title: Suresh Rajan v. The State rep. by Inspector of Police

Case No: Crl. A. No. 157 of 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 199

Counsel for Appellant: Mr. R. Sankarasubbu

Counsel for Respondent: Mr. R. Karthikeyan (Spl. Public Prosecutor for NIA Act Cases)

Click here to read/download the judgment

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