Kerala High Court Maoist verdict: State government to appeal against ruling
Kerala Government would appeal against the verdict of the single bench of the High Court which ruled on Friday that being a Maoist is not a crime. Government sources said Home Secretary Nalini Netto has been asked to look into the verdict and get legal opinion on moving an appeal.
Acting upon a writ petition filed by Shyam Balakrishnan, 33, who alleged he was illegally picked up by the Kerala police on suspicion of being Maoist, the single bench of justice Muhammed Mustaque said, “being a Maoist is no crime. Freedom of thought and liberty of conscience is a natural right. Freedom becomes unlawful only when it concerns the physical law of the state,” the judge said on Friday.
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the Government was contemplating to move an appeal against the single bench verdict, “which look prima facie not workable.” Chennithala also added that the State Home Secretary Nalini Netto has been asked to explore the possibility of filing an appeal. He said that the police are also of opinion that the verdict would affect the pending cases related to Maoism.
However, Congress spokesman and party leader from Kerala, P C Chacko welcomed the verdict. “The court has said that being a Maoist is of no crime. Same is our opinion about Maoist,” Chacko told the media.
When Chacko’s observation was brought to his noticed, Chennithala said he (Chacko) may not be familiar with the issue in detail. “The government does not favour the verdict. we would move appeal.”
Kerala Director-General of Prosecution T Asif Ali said the court went totally wrong in its verdict. “As per the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a person who becomes a member of an organisation declared unlawful or a person who contributes to such an association will attract penal provisions. CPI (Maoist) has been declared as an unlawful organisation. Hence, there is no ground for conclusion that being a Maoist is not a crime,” said Asif Ali.
The Director-General of Prosecution also questioned the order to the State Government to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the petitioner. He also added, “There is no custodial death, torture at lock up to pay the compensation to the petitioner.”
He said, “There was no failure on the part of the prosecution to present a strong case of defence for the police action. The petitioner’s area Vellamunda is known for Maoist associations. It was quite natural for the local people to alert the police about the movement of strangers. If the government does not go for an appeal, the single bench verdict would energize Maoist activity,”said the DGP.
Source:: Indian Express