A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday granted bail to four contract workers of the erstwhile Reliance Energy and trade union activists who were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly having links with Maoists. Reliance Energy, which was a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, is now Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited.
The order came after the Bombay High Court on December 17 set aside an extension that the special court had granted in April to the prosecution, the Anti-Terrorism Squad, to file a chargesheet in the case. The chargesheet was filed in May.
The special court on Wednesday granted the bail to Satyanarayan Karrela, Krishna Lingaya Ghoshaka alias Ajay Dasari, Shankar Lingaya, and Babu Shankar on a surety of Rs 50,000, The Indian Express reported. They were released on Thursday.
On January 12, the Anti-Terrorism Squad had arrested electricity workers affiliated with the Mumbai Electric Employees Union – Satyanarayana Karrela, Babushankar Vanguri, Shankar Gunde and Ravi Marampelli, contractor Narsaiah Jumpala, Ajay Dasari, who police allege is the Maoist operative who workers introduced as “Mahesh”, and a pro-Telangana poet and activist Ramesh Gondiala. In February, another worker, Saidulu Singapanga, 36, was taken into custody, taking the total number of arrests in the case to eight.
The ATS claimed that the workers had been funding the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), which has been fighting a protracted guerrilla war in central and eastern India for decades with the aim of overthrowing the government.
The applications of the other four arrested are still pending in the Bombay High Court.
The accused had approached the High Court challenging the chargesheet, saying they were not given their “valuable right” to get an audience. The High Court in its December 17 order said, “In the case of extension of time for filing chargesheet beyond 90 days, it is the duty of the court to give hearing to the accused or his lawyers because [it is] his indefeasible right.”
“All the accused are in prison, hence it is the duty of the state to ensure their production on the date of the remand either by physical production or through video-conferencing. It was not done,” read the order.