Possessing a book about freedom fighter Bhagat Singh is not barred under law and the mere possession of ‘instigating’ newspaper cuttings is also not an offence, observed a Karnataka court recently while acquitting two men accused of having Naxalite links, reports Bar and Bench.
During a search operation at the house of the accused, the police had retrieved several newspaper cuttings and a book about Bhagat Singh. Additionally, certain articles which were allegedly in the nature of being used by Naxalites were also recovered. The Counsel for the accused, however, countered that the other articles seized from the house of the accused were 'household articles' and not related to activities of banned organizations or Naxalites.
Additional District and Sessions Judge BB Jakati ultimately concluded that the material recovered was not sufficient to sustain the charges of Section. The Judge observed: “… Mere possession of even ‘instigative’ paper cuttings of newspaper does not amount to any offence.” Also, the recovery of certain writings from the premises of the accused concerning demands for boycotting local elections also would not imply that the accused were engaged in Naxalite activities.
No incriminating evidence was obtained from the seized mobiles either, it was observed.
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