A Delhi court on Wednesday dropped terror charges against top Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy, saying there was no proper sanction to prosecute him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
But additional sessions judge Pawan Kumar Jain framed charges of cheating, forgery and impersonation paving the way for the trial of the 65-year-old Maoist leader. Ghandy was arrested on September 20, 2009 for allegedly trying to set up a base for Maoists in Delhi.
The court maintained that there was sufficient material to make out a prima facie case for the offence punishable under Section 20 and 38 (member of banned outfit and furthering its activities) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against Ghandy. But it said the accused could not be tried for offences under UAPA, as the cognisance order dated February 19, 2010 was not in accordance with the mandatory provisions of the Act.
Ghandy is from a wealthy Parsi family in Mumbai and is an alumnus of Doon School and Mumbai's St. Xavier's College. He was deported from England following his involvement in Left-wing politics there.
Ghandy was said to be part of the top leadership of erstwhile CPI-ML (People's War Group) since 1981 and continued as a Central Committee member in CPI (Maoist). He was elected to its politburo in 2007.
In its main chargesheet the Special Cell of Delhi Police had slapped charges under the UAP Act, besides booking Ghandy for cheating, forgery and impersonation under the IPC.
They had said that after his arrest, Jharkhand police inspector Francis Induwar was killed by Maoists on October 6, 2009.
Police had claimed that they had found a fake voter identity and PAN cards from Ghandy and had referred to a CD in which he was shown addressing armed Maoist cadre.