The Gauhati High Court in the case Borshahsri Buragohain v. The State of Assam observed and granted bail to a college student (Borshahsri Buragohain/Borshahari Buragohain), who has been accused in the case of writing a Facebook post allegedly supporting the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), a banned terrorist organization.
The bench comprising of Justice Ajit Borthakur granted bail to the accused by observing that further continuation of her detention may not be required in the interest of the ongoing investigation. Since May 18, 2022, the accused was in judicial custody for 64 days and was booked u/s 10(a)(iv)/13(1)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
In the present case, on May 17, 2022, as per the allegations made in the FIR, she posted written words on her Facebook account in favour of ULFA-I stating “ Akou Korim Rashtra Droh, Swadhin Surjyar Dikhe Akou Ekhuj, “ (We shall do the seditious act, One more step towards the independent sun, again)”.
Further, it was alleged by the Facebook post that she had threatened the sovereignty of India and had boosted up the unlawful objective of the said banned organization. Earlier, it was prayed by her for bail before the District and Session court, Golaghat, which was rejected, Therefore, the accused had moved to the High Court.
The Counsel appearing for the student, Borshahsri Buragohain/Borshahari Buragohain argued before the Court she was in no way involved in the commission of the alleged offences and that her Facebook account was hacked by some unknown person and for which she did not have any access to the social media platform Facebook.
Further, it was submitted by the Public Prosecutor that the case diary revealed prima facie no sufficient incriminating material against her requiring her continuation of detention any further in the interest of investigation and the same is yet to be completed.
The Court examined her case in the light of Article 19(1) (a) (freedom of speech and expression) and 19(2) of the Constitution of India (reasonable restrictions) as well as the definition provided in Section 2(o) of “unlawful activity” of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The Court granted her bail by observing that a perusal of the contents of the relevant Facebook post, which is in the form of one poetic line, it is revealed that the petitioner accused, who is a college student, expressed her feeling without reference to any organisation. However, on scrutiny of the pros and cons of the evidence so far collected by the investigating officer in the case and having regard to the submissions made as stated above as well as the length of detention by the learned counsel for both the sides. Further, this court is of the opinion that further continuation of detention of the accused petitioner may not be required in the interest of the ongoing investigation.