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Supreme Court dismisses NIA appeal against UAPA accused, says you may have a problem with someone reading a newspaper

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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by the National Investigation Agency against the bail granted to an accused in a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the Jharkhand High Court.

While dismissing the appeal on Thursday, the bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli observed that the way the NIA seems to be going, it looked like it would have a problem with even a person reading a newspaper.

Appearing for the NIA, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju submitted before the bench that the accused was collecting extortion money on the directions of the Maoist splinter group’s local commander.

The High Court had granted bail to the general manager of a private company arrested for extorting money for a Maoist splinter group. The NIA had appealed against the bail.

The accused, Sanjay Jain, had been arrested in December 2018 on the allegation that he was running an extortion ring for the Maoists and had been in custody until December 2021 when he was granted bail by the High Court.

The High Court had granted bail to Jain saying just because he had paid money to the Maoist splinter group, the UAPA cannot be applied to the offences prima facie. The bench of Justices Shree Chandrashekhar and Ratnaker Bhengra also said Jain’s meeting the chief of a possible terrorist group and making payments to them aren’t covered by the UAPA’s Sections 17 and 18.

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