In the case of Union of India versus Sanjay Jain, the Supreme Court dismissed a complaint made by the National Investigation Agency regarding the bail given to an accused in a UAPA case on Thursday, saying orally, “The way you are going, it looks like you have a problem with a person for even reading a newspaper.”
The Jharkhand High Court had granted bail to a General Manager of a company in a UAPA case for allegedly collaborating with a Maoist splinter group called Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) for extortion. The NIA had appealed this decision to the Supreme Court.
Before a bench made up of CJI NV Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari, and Hima Kohli, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju argued against the High Court’s decision by claiming that the Manager had been directed by the TPC Zonal Commander to collect extortion money.
Additionally, he argued that the accused was obtaining funds from transporters and DO holders in order to pay TPC cooperatives. “According to the direction you are going, it appears that you are upset that someone is even reading a newspaper. Dismissed, “CJI stated.
In December 2018, M/s Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Ltd. General Manager Sanjay Jain were detained on suspicion of being closely involved with TPC in running an extortion ring.
He was detained following his arrest and remained there until the High Court granted him bail in December 2021. When granting bail to the accused, the High Court bench of Justices Shree Chandrashekhar and Ratnaker Bhengra noted that UAPA offences are not inherently attractive just because he paid the amounts demanded by TPC.
The appellant’s actions in paying the levy amount to TPC and meeting with TPC’s supremo are not covered by sections 17 and 18 of the UA(P) Act, the HC noted in its order. “Maybe TPC is engaged in terrorist activities,” it added.
“According to us, it is not possible to conclude that the appellant joined the TPC as a result of his actions, such as meeting Akraman Jee and paying him. When the prosecution persuades the Court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against the accused are at least presumptively true, the embargo outlined in sub-section (5) of section 43-D will go into effect.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court ruled in “NIA v. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali” (2019) 5 SCC 1 that there is less satisfaction required to record a finding that a “prima facie” case has been established than there is to record a finding of “not guilty.” “While granting bail, the HC bench said.
The High Court also considered the fact that the case’s charge sheet had been filed and the trial had started.