Gauhati HC Upholds Akhil Gogoi’s Bail Order

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Gauhati High Court has upheld activist Akhil Gogoi’s bail order by a Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court for his alleged role in triggering violence during Anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in December, 2019.

According to a PTI report, a High Court bench comprising Justices Suman Shyam and Mir Alfaz Ali dismissed NIA’s appeal and stated that acts of committing civil disturbance may not necessarily come under the purview of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, “unless committed with the requisite intention”.

“Upon going through the impugned judgement and order dated 01.10.2020 in the light of materials placed before us, we are of the considered opinion that the views expressed by the learned Special Court, NIA leading to granting of bail to the respondent is a possible view in the facts and circumstances of the case,” the High Court said in its order on April 9.

“Therefore, we do not find any error in the approach of the learned court below while exercising discretionary jurisdiction and granting bail to the respondent,” the court added.

On October 1 last year, the Special NIA court had granted bail to Gogoi after submission of chargesheet by the investigating agency.

“…unlawful act of any other nature, including acts arson and violence aimed at creating civil disturbance and law and order problems, which may be punishable under the ordinary law, would not come within the purview of section 15(1) of the Act of 1967 unless it is committed with the requisite intention,” the HC order said.

“The materials submitted along with the chargesheet are basically statements of the witnesses recorded under section 161 of the Cr.P.C. which obviously do not have any evidential value,” it added.

During the peak of the anti-CAA movement in 2019, the Chabua police station on December 10 registered a case against Gogoi under Sections 120(B), 147, 148, 149, 336, 307, 383, and 326 of the IPC along with sections 15(1)(a) and 16 of the UA(P)A, PTI reported.

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