Delhi High Court seeks NIA response on plea of IM operative

New Delhi, Apr 13 (ILNS): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over the petition filed by Indian Mujahideen operative Abdul Wahid Siddibapa seeking bail and speedy trial in the UAPA case registered against him.

A division bench of the high court presided over by Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambani issued notice to the National Investigation Agency over the petition filed by Wahid through advocates Qausar Khan, Prashant Prakash and Ankit Karna.

As the matter was being heard by way of videoconferencing, Advocate M S Khan appearing for Wahid argued that since the statutory restriction vested under section 43(D) of the UAPA are stringent and hence, day to day hearing shall take place.

“If day to day hearing cannot be granted in such a case, then the stringent statutory restrictions under section 43(D) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act shall be melted and the petitioner shall be granted bail as Article 21 of the Constitution comes into play,” the advocate said.

Wahid in his plea stated that he is suffering prolonged incarceration (about 4 years 10 months) and there is no likelihood of the trial being completed anytime in near future as charges are yet to be framed and total number of witnesses to be examined are 363.

“It is obvious that a timely trial would not be possible and the accused has suffered incarceration for a significant period of time,” the plea said.

By way of instant petition, the appellant is not only seeking bail on the ground of inordinate delay in trial being violative of his fundamental right to have a speedy/free/fair trial but also directions for day to day trial of the cases as mandated by Section 19 of National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.

The appellant and others are facing trial for the offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act besides other offences and despite there being two Special Courts constituted under Section 11 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, the frequency of adjournment is more than a month thereby causing a substantial delay in the trial of such cases.

The main reason for the delay in trial is that the Special Courts in addition to the matter under UAPA are also dealing with other matters and having a heavy board.

Time and again, the right to have a speedy trial has been held to be the fundamental right of an accused as the same directly affects the life and liberty of an accused and with the object of providing a speedy and fair trial to the accused, Section 19 National Investigation Agency Act was brought in the statute book and inordinate delay in trial is a violation of the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution as has been held by the Supreme Court /various High Courts while extending the benefit of bail to the accused facing trial under the similar charges/ enactments.

According to the NIA, Abdul Wahid Siddibapa is a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka and a cousin of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.

The NIA’s FIR lodged in September 2012 says IM members, in association with other IM sleeper cells based in the country and outside, were conspiring to commit terror acts by making preparations for targeting various important places in India, especially in Delhi by causing bomb blasts with the active aid and support from their Pakistan-based operatives and associates, thus waging war against India.

Read Also: Smuggling of 2,500 kg peacock feathers to China: Delhi court directs no coercive action against accused businessman

Wahid is described as the logistic manager who helped in the recruitment and finances of IM. He used to pick recruits sent by Riyaz Bhatkal from India to Dubai to help them with logistics.
The post Delhi High Court seeks NIA response on plea of IM operative appeared first on India Legal.