The Kerala High Court on Friday quashed the Unlawful Atrocities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sedition charges against alleged Maoist leader Roopesh in three cases.
The three cases registered at two police stations in Kozhikode district, were for distributing ‘unlawful’ pamphlets and carrying arms, reports Madhyamam. According to the report, only sedition charges and UAPA against Roopesh in the cases have become invalid, while the other charges as per Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act will stay.
Roopesh, a law graduate with a diploma in Information Technology and his wife Shyna, an advocate, were arrested from Coimbatore on May 1, 2015 for alleged Maoist activities in three south Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. At the time of the arrest, police had stated that the duo were preparing for an armed struggle in the three states. As per the report, the trial in the cases registered against them has not yet begun.
The High Court single bench of Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V quashed the UAPA and sedition charges against Roopesh in three cases on Friday while considering his petition filed, challenging the Kozhikode session court’s order dismissing his plea for the same.
As per the report, the High Court observed mandatory provisions were not complied with, while charging the accused with UAPA and sedition charges in the three cases.
This is the fourth case against Roopesh in which the charges of UAPA have been dropped lawfully. The first case among this was registered in Karnataka. A total of 40 cases have been registered against Roopesh in various states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka under UAPA.
Though his wife Shyna was released on bail in 2018, the stringent conditions accompanying the bail were relaxed after she moved court. At present, Roopesh is at Viyyur Central Prison in Thrissur district.