Gauhati High Court: The single Bench of Ajit Borthakur, J., has under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, granted bail to a college student who was accused, under Sections 10(a)(iv) and 13(1)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), of supporting a banned terrorist organization, United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) through a Facebook post a The Bench held that the words in the post expressed her feelings without making any reference to any particular organization.
Facts and Submissions made
An FIR was registered against the petitioner for posting on Facebook alleged words “Swadhin Surjyar Dikhe Akou Ekhuj, Akou Korim Rashtra Droh” (One more step towards independent sun, again, we shall do seditious act) and was under judicial custody for 64 days since 18-05-2022.
The petitioner through her counsel submitted that she was a student of B.Sc. and was not involved in the commission of the alleged offences. It was further submitted that her Facebook account got hacked and hence, she did not have any access to it. Therefore, considering the duration of her Judicial Custody, she should be granted bail subject to any conditions.
The Public Prosecutor submitted that through the post the petitioner had threatened the sovereignty of India and had boosted up the unlawful objective of the said banned organization. Therefore, the detention of the petitioner should be continued till the investigation gets completed.
Analysis and Decision
In the light of the above facts and provisions laid under Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(2) of the Constitution of India, and the definition of “unlawful activity” given under Section 2(o) of the UAPA, the Bench observed that the contents of the relevant Facebook post, are in the form of a poetic line, which expressed her feelings without any reference made to a particular organization.
Therefore, the Bench granted bail to the petitioner and opined that further continuation of the judicial custody of the petitioner may not be required in the interest of the ongoing investigation.
[Borshahsri Buragohain v. State of Assam, 2022 SCC OnLine Gau 1095, decided on 21-07-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
A. Dihingia, Advocate, for the Petitioner;
PP, Assam, Advocate, for the Respondent.