A court in Uttarakhand has acquitted former journalist Prashant Rahi and three others who were accused of being Maoists, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday. Rahi was arrested in the case in 2007 and was given bail in 2011.

Judge Prem Singh Khimal of the Udham Singh Nagar Sessions Court observed that the prosecution was unable to prove the crime of the accused persons beyond a reasonable doubt, Bar and Bench reported.

In 2007, Rahi along with Gopal Datt Bhatt, Khim Singh Bora and Devendra Chamyal were booked under Indian Penal Code sections that deal with sedition and provoking riots and conspiracy. They were accused of being members of a “terrorist gang” and were subsequently booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The Uttarakhand court pointed out several loopholes in the police investigation, Bar and Bench reported. The judge observed that the police had failed to verify the witnesses and had not secured the Centre’s permission to prosecute the accused persons under UAPA.

The court also said that the police were unable to present the banned literature, which they had allegedly recovered from the accused persons.

Laxmi Narayan Patwa, additional district government counsel-crime, on Friday confirmed that the four persons were cleared of charges, the Hindustan Times reported. “We are moving to the High Court for appeal against the verdict,” Pawa said.

Rahi was also arrested by Maharashtra Police in 2013 under the anti-terror law in a different case. A forensic analysis of the data on Rahi’s laptop, pen drives and CDs revealed links to Maoists, the police had claimed.

One of Rahi’s lawyers in the Maharashtra case was Surendra Gadling, who has now been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon violence matter along with several activists and artists, The Wire reported. Galding has also been accused of having links with Maoists.