Major jolt to pro-Naxal lobby as HC rejects plea of Saibaba’s associates

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jan 2018 09:33:58


Staff Reporter,

Taking a firm stance against anti-national activities of Naxalites and their overt and covert supporters, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected application to suspend their sentence and for grant of bail moved by Prashant Rahi Narayan Sanglikar and Vijay Nan Tirki- associates of dreaded Naxal thinker G N Saibaba.

Saibaba and four of his associates including Mahesh Tirki, Pandu Narote, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi were convicted by Gadchiroli Sessions Court on March 7 in which court held them guilty for offence punishable under Sections 18 13, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) read with Section 120B of the IPC and sentenced them for life. The court held that accused were proved as active members of the CPI Maoist- a banned organisation and its frontal organisation Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) which is formed with infamous slogan “Naxalbari Ek Hi Rasta,” and
conspired together for carrying out illegal and violent activities of banned organisation.

Sessions Judge Suryakant Shinde had also slammed Maoists and their frontal organisations like RDF for fanning a wave of violence targetting police officers, innocent persons merely on the suspicion of being “police informers” and causing damage to public property. Citing extensively from the incriminating material seized from Saibaba and his conduits, the court unequivocally held them guilty under the UAPA and sentenced them to life.

“Prashant Rahi and Vijay Tirki are found to be the serves in the link between the alleged Naxals and the banned organisation i.e. CPI (Maoist) and its frontal organisation (RDF),” noted a division bench consisting of Justice Ravi Deshpande and Justice Murlidhar Giratkar after perusing entire evidence on record and findings of Sessions Court which indicated that both accused were assigned with the task “to identify the members of the banned organisation at the instance of the alleged Naxals on the basis of the secret codes and to help or assist them in reaching to the goal.”

The articles seized in the form of literature and the presence of Rahi and Tirki in the functions of the banned organisation along with the other accused persons, show their close association with it, the High Court noted while prima-facie endorsing the findings of the Sessions Court that these accused were vital links in naxal movement. “If these accused are released on bail, it would amount to breaking or snapping the vital links,” the High Court stated while rejecting their application to suspend the sentence and to release them on bail since their conviction was based on “absence of any cogent and concrete evidence.”

The applicants represented by Adv Nitya Ramkrishnan claimed that there was no evidence to establish their membership with the banned organisation, there was no recovery of the arms from them, nor they were involved in violent activities or planned any act of violence and there was absolutely no material to connect these two accused with the crime for which they were convicted. Questioning the very basis of their conviction they claimed that mere possession of literature was no crime and they could not be prosecuted and convicted on the basis of such a weak evidence.

Strongly countering their claims the prosecution led by special prosecutor Prashant Kumar Sathianathan and Shardul Singh opposed grant of any relief to both. Reiterating that Naxal movement poses greatest internal security threat to India and activities and association of Naxal ideologue G N Saibaba and his four of his associates with banned anti-national Maoist organisation and for waging war against India with an oblique motive to overpower democratically elected Government, prosecution urged the High Court to reject application and not to release them.

After conviction of Saibaba and others, Maoists had unleashed a wave of violence across Central India and stepped up attack against security forces while owning up Saibaba as their ideologue. As expected, the urban wing of Naxalites also indulged in motivated propaganda questioning the conviction of Saibaba, who is 90% handicapped. Even during the trial period, the propaganda wing of Naxalites tried its level best to influence judicial proceedings, but, this factor failed to cut ice with Sessions Court and now the High Court which remained unfazed by motivated propaganda unleashed by Maoists and their so called intellectual fellow-travellers.

“We do not find that any exceptional case is made out, and the grounds of challenges raised before us can be gone into at the time of final hearing of the matter,” the High Court noted while refusing to suspend sentence and their release on bail and noted that grounds of challenges could be looked into at the time of final hearing.

Senior Advocate Nitya Ramrishnan and Adv Surendra Gadling appeared for the applicants. Special Public Prosecutors P K Sathianathan and Adv Shardul Singh successfully represented prosecution.