17 PFI Functionaries Get Bail in UAPA Case

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The bail plea was decided by a division bench of the Kerala High Court headed by Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar.

Team Clarion

KOCHI – The Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted bail to 17 former Popular Front of India (PFI) functionaries jailed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA) charges by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The bail plea was decided by a division bench headed by Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar.

SDPI state secretary PK Usman, former PFI functionaries Dr. CT Sulaiman, Adv. Mubarak, MH Shihas, Mujeeb Eratupetta, Sadiq Pathanamthitta, Najmuddin Mundakkayam, Sainuddin Kanjirapalli, Ali, Abdul Kabir, Rizwan, Sadiq, Nishad, Rasheed, Syed Ali, Akbar Ali, Ashfaq and others were among those granted bail, Advocate Shaiq Rasal representing the appellants was quoted by media reports as saying.

“We are currently engaged with the formalities of the bail to ensure their release. If we fail to get the bail order executed as soon as possible, there is a possibility that the NIA might approach the apex court for a stay, which will further complicate the process,” Adv. Rasal further said.

However, the court denied relief to other state leaders Saddam Hussain, Karamana Ashraf Maulavi, Naushad, Ashraf, Yahya Thangal, Muhammad Ali alias Kunjappu, Abdul Sattar, Ansari Eeratupetta and CA Rauf.

All of them were arrested during the nationwide hunt of the PFI cadre by NIA, followed by the government ban on the organisation.

The high court verdict applies to a group of cases merged under the file submitted by the NIA Kerala in relation to the ban on PFI, which includes charges under the draconian UAPA. The decision of the court to grant bail appears to be a major blow to the national agency, which has received severe criticism for its flawed investigation and lack of evidence to substantiate its grand claims listed in the chargesheet.

The PFI was banned on September 28, 2022. Before and after the ban, central agencies including NIA and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out a series of raids across the country, resulting in a mass arrest of party functionaries.

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