Court to pass order on new Lok Sabha MP Er Rashid’s bail, NIA gives consent

Rashid has been unable to take oath during the official ceremony in Parliament due to his incarceration.
Newly elected Lok Sabha MP from Baramullah Engineer Rashid.
Newly elected Lok Sabha MP from Baramullah Engineer Rashid.Photo | Express

NEW DELHI: Jailed Kashmiri leader and newly elected MP Sheikh Abdul Rashid, aka Engineer Rashid, is likely to take his oath in the Lok Sabha on July 5 after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday gave its consent to his interim bail before a special court. The court will pass an order on the matter today.

The NIA counsel, however, reportedly told the court on Monday that the consent should be subject to certain conditions, which includes debarring him from interacting with the media during the period. Besides, Rashid must also complete all the due process within a day, NIA counsel said.

Defence counsel Vikhyat Oberoi, appearing for Rashid, is reported to have informed the court that July 5 would be preferable as July 6 and 7 are holidays.

Rashid won Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha seat by defeating his nearest rival National Conference leader Omar Abdullah. But he was unable to take oath during the official ceremony in the Parliament due to his incarceration. The agency said it has been consulting with Parliament and jail authorities on the matter.

Rashid won the general elections jailed in Tihar, in custody in the terror-funding case investigated by the NIA. Rashid had sought interim bail or custody parole for taking oath as Lok Sabha MP.

Special judge Chander Jit Singh of the Patiala House Court will pass an order on Rashid’s bail plea today.

In his submission, Rashid’s counsel also urged the court to allow him to obtain his identity card and CGHS card and to facilitate him to open a bank account. He has also urged the court to permit the presence of family members at the time of taking oath as an MP.

The court of vacation judge on June 22 granted time to the NIA to file reply on the application of MP Engineer Rashid, as the agency’s counsel sought time to file a reply citing it as a matter under UAPA.

Undertrial in UAPA case

Rashid has been in custody since August 2019 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged involvement in the terror funding case. His name surfaced during the probe of Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested for allegedly financing terrorist groups and separatists in Kashmir.

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