Gauhati HC upholds bail order of peasant activist Akhil Gogoi by special NIA court

Guwahati, Apr 14 (PTI) The Gauhati High Court has upheld
the bail order of peasant activist Akhil Gogoi by a Special
NIA Court in relation to his alleged role in violent protests
against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam in 2019.
Dismissing an appeal by the National Investigation Agency
(NIA), a High Court bench comprising Justices Suman Shyam and
Mir Alfaz Ali said any act aimed at creating civil disturbance
will not come within the purview of the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, 1967 unless committed with the requisite
"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.
"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 High
Court said in its order on April 9.
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.
By 'Act of 1967', the bench referred to the Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The High Court also noted that the bail order by the
lower court was passed after submission of the chargesheet on
June 26, 2020 and no formal charge has yet been framed against
"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 anti-CAA movement in 2019, the Chabua
police station on December 10 registered an FIR (case
no.289/2019) 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.
While the matter was under investigation by the Assam
police, the Union Home Ministry on December 14, 2019 ordered
to shift the case to the NIA, which re-registered it as RC-
Gogoi was rejected bail in another case related to anti-
CAA violence and is being investigated by the NIA, which took
his custody in December 2019.
He was last year admitted at Gauhati Medical College and
Hospital (GMCH) for treatment of COVID-19 and he remains there
for other ailments.
Gogoi contested the Assam Assembly polls this year from
Sibsagar constituency. PTI TR COR

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)