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Baskey remand: Court declines police appeal

Posted by Admin on October 9, 2009

JHARGRAM/KOLKATA: The state government was in for a jolt yet again on Thursday when the Jhargram SDJM Court refused to allow police custody for
PCPA treasurer Sukhshanti Baskey for a further 21 days under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). His police remand has been extended by eight days.

The court made it clear that it had considered Baskey’s charges under IPC provisions and gave a police remand of a total 15 days, the maximum under CrPC. UAPA, on the other hand, provides for a maximum police remand of 180 days.

Taken aback by the court order in the Chhatradhar case the day before, director general of police Bhupinder Singh called on advocate-general Balai Ray to find out whether such a notification was mandatory. Lawyers, however, argue that UAPA is a central Act and the notification has already been made by the Centre.

The advocate-general has advised the DGP to send a note from next time, stating that a notification from the state banning CPI (Maoist) is not essential. Home secretary Ardhendu Sen echoed the view, saying police arrested them as individuals, not as members of any organisation.

"CPI (Maoist) is a banned outfit, but many other organizations are supporting and acting with them in tandem. Even if they are not banned, they continue to have legal liabilities for their action," Sen said.

Baskey’s lawyer Kausik Sinha told the court that the state has not come up with a notification to include PCPA in the schedule of UAPA, which he held was mandatory before booking the accused under the law. Sinha also alleged that police submitted a "fake seizure list" to the court. "How can police prepare a seizure list without taking the arrested to the spot?" he asked.

The home secretary said the state government felt no need to involve the army in crackdown against Maoists here. Regarding statements made by the Centre that army might be deployed, Sen said, "The state has to agree if there is such a proposal. We don’t think army’s involvement is essential now." TOI


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