NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court has cancelled the bail of four Maoist guerrillas, including their leader Ashok Satya Reddy alias Murali alias Mahesh, who is wanted by the police in at least four states.
A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Mukundakam Sharma cancelled the bail of Reddy (45) and his accomplices, Arun Thomas Pereira (35), Dhanendra Shriram Bhurale (35) and Naresh Babulal Bansod (42), setting aside a Bombay High Court order granting them bail last September.
The bench cancelled their bail Wednesday on an appeal by the Maharashtra government.
Interestingly, the apex court had put on hold the high court order on Sep 19 last year itself, as soon as the Maharashtra government approached it.
The Supreme Court, while suspending the high court order last year, said the four men were not to get bail till the apex court had decided on the matter, which it did on Wednesday and cancelled the bail.
The apex court also directed the Nagpur trial court to conclude the trial of the four Maoists within six months.
The Maoists, all active members of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), were apprehended May 8, 2007, from Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur, where Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism along with his supporters more than 50 years ago.
The police arrested them on a tip off that they were to meet at Deekshabhoomi to chalk out plans for subversive activities in the urban areas of Maharashtra, including Nagpur.
At the time of their arrest, the four were found in possession of a pistol and some incriminating documents, including Maoist literature, and were booked for various offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act.
Reddy has several offences registered against him in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. He hails from village Nirmalagiri in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh and is a resident of Deori in Bhandara district of Maharashtra.
While setting aside the Bombay High Court order, the apex court ruled that the high court had grated bail to the four Maoists without observing the norms for granting bail.