The Supreme Court overturned a High Court decision granting bail to individuals accused in a case linked to the Popular Front of India.

It determined that evidence from the chargesheet and witness statements suggested the accusations were likely true. Stressing the gravity of the offenses under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, it highlighted the importance of balancing civil liberties, human rights, and national security. The Court instructed the accused to surrender to the National Investigation Agency and urged the Special Court to swiftly proceed with the trial. The appeals filed by the Union of India were upheld.

“Having regard to the seriousness and gravity of the alleged offences, previous criminal history of the respondents as mentioned in the charge-sheet, the period of custody undergone by the respondents being hardly one and half years, the severity of punishment prescribed for the alleged offences and prima facie material collected during the course of investigation, the impugned order passed by the High Court cannot be sustained.”

“This Court has often interpreted the counter terrorism enactments to strike a balance between the civil liberties of the accused, human rights of the victims and compelling interest of the state. It cannot be denied that National security is always of paramount importance and any act in aid to any terrorist act – violent or non-violent is liable to be restricted. The UAPA is one of such Acts which has been enacted to provide for effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals.”

Thus the impugned order granting bail to the accused belonging to the Popular Front of India was set aside.

UNION OF INDIA rep. by the Inspector of Police National Investigation Agency Chennai Branch Vs BARAKATHULLAH ETC decided by the Supreme Court of India on 22/May/24.

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.