The bail order passed by Special NIA Court Kochi for Thwaha Fasal in a UAPA case, arrested on November 2019 was set aside by the Kerala High Court. However bail has been granted to the other convict by divisional Bench of Kerala High court comprising of Hon’ble Justice A.Hariprasad and Justice K.Haripal in the case of Union of India vs. Twaha Fasal [CRL.A.No. 705 of 2020] and Union of India vs. Allan Shuaib [CRL.A.No. 706 of 2020].
In the instant case, both Twaha Fasal and Allan Shuaib were arrested in November 2019 by Kerala police under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act alleging that they were supporting proscribed Maoist group which was declared as a terrorist organization. Later on, the National Investigation Agency took over the case. Documents seized from the accused were ‘highly inflammable and volatile’ and they were found shouting slogans in the favor of CP (Maoists). Offences under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA which deal with association with a terrorist organization and supporting it with the intention to further its activities, Section 13 of the UAPA (punishment for unlawful activity) and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy) were invoked against them. In September 2020, the NIA Court granted them bail observing that the National Investigation Agency failed to establish a prima facie case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, against the accused. NIA court observed that mere possession of books on Communist Ideology, Maoism, Class struggle does not prove anything adverse against the accused and Right to Protest is a constitutionally guaranteed right.
When the appeal was made in Kerala High Court, the court observed that the trial court went into a “thread-bare analysis” of the documents on record as if in a trial and said ‘After rushing through the materials we are only to say that, generally speaking, some of those materials are not innocent and innocuous which could be ignored in a light hearted manner’ with reference to the case of “NIA vs. Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali”. The High court did not accept the fact that the accused were keeping all the books and records out of their intellectual curiosity.
Although, HC did not cancel the bail of the second accused Allan Shuaib because court observed that the materials seized from Allan were less serious in nature as compared to those seized from Twaha Fasal. Twaha’s Pro-maoist slogans were considered “Blameworthy”. HC directed Twaha to surrender himself before the Trial court and set aside the finding of the trial court that no prima facie case was made out against the accused.