SC cancels bail given by Madras HC to eight PFI men booked under UAPA

22 May,2024 08:31 PM IST |  New Delhi  |  mid-day online correspondent

The two judge bench cancelled their bail stating that the allegations of collecting funds to commit terrorist acts against them appeared to be `prima facie true`.

Representational Image. File Pic

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the bail granted by the Madras High Court to eight men booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), reported news agency ANI. The eight were booked under UAPA for being members of banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and having conspired to commit terrorist acts across the country.

A two bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal cancelled their bail stating that the allegations of collecting funds to commit terrorist acts against them appeared to be 'prima facie true'.

As per a PTI report, the bench said it was satisfied with the charge sheet filed in the case and material and documents relied upon by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against them were "prima facie true".

The top court said that it could interfere considering the gravity of the offence and the fact that said that only 1.5 years had been spent in incarceration.

The apex court while setting aside a Madras High Court order by which eight men were granted bail said, "Having regard to the gravity of the offence and the only 1.5 years spent in incarceration given the maximum punishment, we are inclined to interfere with High Court order granting bail. Courts can interfere with orders granting personal liberty if the same is perverse."

The court while cancelling the bail also directed that the trial be expedited and asked the accused to surrender.

It said these eight accused shall forthwith surrender themselves before the NIA, as reported by PTI. Taking a note of the charge sheet that been already file before the trial court, the bench directed that the special court shall proceed with the trial as expeditiously as possible and in accordance with law, without being influenced by any of the observations made by the apex court in this order.

The order of the top court came on an appeal filed by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) challenging the High Court's October 19, 2023 order.

The High Court had refused to link the accused to any terrorist activities such as the offence of collecting funds for 'committing terrorist acts'.

The case against the accused was that several documents, including some "pictures with markings" of RSS leaders and other Hindu organisations, had been found in possession of the accused, suggesting that these leaders were on a "hit list."

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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