Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy on Friday was acquitted of terror charges by Delhi’s Patiala House Court, but was convicted for cheating and forgery and sentenced for a period for which he has already served a term in jail. However, the 65-year-old will continue to remain in jail because proceedings in 14 other cases against him are still pending, ANI reported.
The court also acquitted his aide and co-accused Rajinder Kumar of terror charges but convicted him for charges related to cheating. Ghandy is reportedly facing prosecution in 20 criminal cases.
Ghandy was arrested by a special cell of the Delhi Police in September 2009, after being accused of establishing a network of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Delhi. Police said he had been living in the national capital to propagate the group's activities and that Kumar was helping him. Ghandy was arrested in Delhi while he was being treated for cancer in 2009, and Kumar was arrested in March 2010.
The Maoist leader was acquitted of charges under sections 20 and 38 (member of a banned outfit and furthering its activities) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh, however, convicted him of cheating, forgery and impersonation under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Ghandy was allegedly elected to the Maoist Politburo in 2007 and went underground after the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the People's War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre of India in 2004, ANI reported.