Court frames charges against Kobad Gandhy

New Delhi: A Delhi court today put on trial top Naxal leader Kobad Gandhy for alleged cheating, forgery and impersonation while discharging him on charges under stringent anti-terror law. Paving the way for the trial, Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain framed charges against 65-year-old Gandhy under various provisions of the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation in the case in which he is accused of trying to set up a base for banned outfit CPI (Maoist).

The court, however, discharged Gandhy of the charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act due to improper sanction from the authorities. "In my opinion, case is made out against Gandhy under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act but I am discharging (of the charges under UAP Act) him for want of proper sanction," the judge said. The Maoist leader earlier had opposed filing of a supplementary charge sheet against him saying the police has filed the charge sheet despite there being no fresh material against him.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police, in its main charge sheet, had slapped charges under the UAP Act, besides booking him for various offences under the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation. An alumni of the prestigious Doon School, Ghandy was said to be part of the top leadership of erstwhile CPI-ML (People`s War Group) from 1981 and continued as a Central Committee member in CPI (Maoist). He was elected to its Politburo in 2007.

The investigators had claimed to have recovered a fake voter identity and pan cards from Gandhy and had referred to a CD in which he was shown addressing the armed cadres of the banned organisation. He was arrested here on September 20, 2009. They had pointed out that after his arrest, Jharkhand police inspector Francis Induwar was abducted and killed by Maoists on October 6, 2009 and leaflets were distributed in Maharashtra for bandh in protest against his detention. In the supplementary charge sheet, the police had put on record a fresh sanction to prosecute Gandhy under section 45 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Gandhy`s counsel had opposed it on the ground that the sanction was improper.

"At the time of institution of the first charge sheet, there was a sanction. That sanction was incorrectly obtained. Now, this supplementary charge sheet has been filed to cure a defect. It is not a charge sheet but a curative petition," Gandhy`s counsel had said. The prosecution had denied any illegality in the first sanction and maintained that a fresh sanction was obtained in the light of the amendment to the UAP Act.