Jhar HC | If case discloses ‘prima facie’ culpability then bar under proviso to S. 43D (5) of UAPA will be attracted; Bail rejected in view of the same

Jharkhand High Court:  A Division Bench of H.C. Mishra and Rajesh Kumar, JJ., dismissed the appeal being devoid of merits.

The facts of the case are that secret information was received by the police regarding the extortion of levy by the banned terrorist organization Tritya Prastuti Committee, in the coal region of Amrapali / Magadh Project of Central Coalfield Ltd., from the contractors, transporters, D.O. holders and coal traders. Subsequently, on the investigation, the house of one Binod Kumar Gupta was raided and amount of Rs 91,75,890/- with two mobile phones recovered and on whose disclosure the present appellant’s house was raided and Rs 57, 57,710/- and four cell phones were recovered. Pursuant to this, a case was instituted under Sections 414, 384, 386, 387 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860, Sections 25(1B) (a), 26 & 35 of the Arms Act, 1959 and Section 17(1) (2) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the appellant was thereby arrested. Thereafter, he filed a bail application before Judicial Commissioner-cum- Special Judge (NIA), Ranchi which was rejected. Aggrieved by which, the instant appeal was filed under Section 21(4) of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 seeking bail.

Counsel for the petitioners R. S. Mazumdar and Kumar Basant Narayan submitted that the appellant is innocent and the money recovered by him is relating to his business which has a turnover of Rs 1 crore even on the day of arrest and therefore he has been falsely implicated. It was further submitted that the appellant was already on bail for the same occurrence/offence but when the NIA added offences, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act the appellant was again taken into custody, and hence he ought to have been enlarged on bail.

Counsel for the respondents Rohit Ranjan Prasad presented the evidence that clearly established the involvement of the appellant in the present matter. The materials placed on record by the NIA after investigation prima facie declared his close association with the banned terrorist organization and being actively involved in extortion. It was further submitted that the appellant also has a criminal history and hence the impugned order was correct and not illegal.

The Court observed that there is a clear bar in granting bail, under Section 43-D (5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, once the accusation is found to be prima facie true and on this ground, the appellant does not deserve the privilege of bail.

In view of the above, bail was rejected and the appeal dismissed.[Pradeep Ram v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Jhar 792, decided on 14-09-2020]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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