Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garlosa, Hojai granted interim bail

 GUWAHATI, Aug 12 – The Gauhati High Court (GHC) today granted conditional interim bail for a period of four months to DHD (J) chairperson Jewel Garlosa and its ‘commander-in-chief’ Niranjan Hojai in connection with two National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases relating to diversion of public funds for militant activities and abetting waging of war against the Union Government.
The cases were registered under Sec 120(B)/121/121(A) of the IPC read with Sec 16/17/18/19/20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Sec 25(1) (d) of the Arms Act.
The Division Bench of the GHC comprising Chief Justice MB Lokur and Justice Hrishikesh Roy passed the bail order after NIA (after discussing with the Union Home Ministry) and the State Government submitted that it had no objection if the duo was granted bail in the interest of the peace process.
The court, however, was of the opinion that liberty should be granted to enable the NIA or the State of Assam to apply for cancellation of bail or modification of the bail conditions, should it be necessary at any stage.
The accused were represented by senior advocate Niloy Dutta, advocate Bijon Mahajan, and advocate Arshad Choudhury in the court.
It needs mention that Garlosa was arrested from Bangalore on June 3, 2009, while Niranjan Hojai was nabbed on the Bihar-Nepal border on July 1, 2010.
The bail order comes after the NIA Special Court had rejected the bail petitions of the both the accused on July 30 last in view of the provisions of Sec 43D(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, as amended by Amendment Act, 2008. Both Garlosa and Hojai had already secured bails in a number of cases registered against them.
Asked, advocate Bijon Mahajan said,“The bail order would definitely assist in bringing in permanent peace, amity and tranquility to the strife-torn district of North Cachar Hills.”
Moreover, the order stated that considering the threat perception and security of the petitioner, both the accused should be provided sufficient armed security coverage(preferably of CRPF) round the clock.
The bail was granted on conditions that the accused shall furnish two local sureties with Rs 5 lakh each.
“The accused shall take permission of the Court before leaving the jurisdiction of the Court and should not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the cases so as to dissuade them from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any investigation agency or tamper with the evidence,” the order stated.
It also maintained that certain other conditions asking the accused to surrender their passport, driving license, if any, along with other identity proofs.
Both the accused are expected to be released on Tuesday, subject to fulfillment of conditions.
Our Law Reporter adds: The Court after hearing the criminal appeal number 126/11 and Criminal Appeal number 127/11 allowed both the accused to go on bail for a period of four months. Both Garlosa and Hojai were arrested in connection with NIA Case No 1/2009 and 2/2009.
The State Government has also produced the written instruction before the Court.
The order was passed after going through the records of the case and the affidavit filed by the NIA. Senior advocate DK Das for the NIA while public prosecutor Ziaul Kamar appeared for the State.

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