The Delhi High Court Friday clarified that the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) is competent to grant judicial remand for offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, until the question of law is decided.
"It is clarified that till the question of law is decided by this court, CMM is directed to take cognizance in this case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," ruled Justice Manmohan on the plea of prosecution in the Israeli embassy car bombing case. Prosecution had sought clarification about the magisterial court's powers in dealing with a case under the anti-terror law.
The prosecution (Delhi Police's Special Cell) filed an application in this regard Thursday after a confusion three days ago when the chief metropolitan magistrate raised the issue of jurisdiction in adjudicating the judicial remand of journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi.
Kazmi was arrested for his alleged role in the Feb 13 Israeli embassy car bombing and charged under the anti-terror act.
After the CMM referred the matter to the district judge, it was allocated to a sessions judge who extended the remand of Kazmi by only three days instead of 15 days as sought by the prosecution.
The high court July 2 suspended the June 8 order of the additional sessions judge (ASJ) who had questioned the magisterial court's power to extend the judicial or police custody of an accused under the anti-terror law.
The court, during the course of the hearing, expressed its displeasure over the action of the additional sessions judge who extended Kazmi's remand even after the high court had already suspended the order.
"Once the high court stayed the matter, the ASJ could not have taken up the matter. It is unpleasant and I conveyed my displeasure," said Justice Manmohan, adding: "How can ASJ go ahead with the matter when high court stayed the case."
The high court had also sought the additional solicitor general's (ASG) assistance to decide the question of law whether the CMM is empowered to extend the custody or not.
The application said the CMM was empowered to extend the custody till the constitution of special court for dealing with cases under the act.
Kazmi was arrested March 6 for his alleged involvement in the embassy car bombing. Four people were injured when an Israeli embassy car was struck by a bomb near the Prime Minister's House in New Delhi area.
Tal Yehoshua Koren, 42, wife of Israeli defence attache Colonel Yossi Refaelov, suffered multiple injuries when a motorcycle rider attached a magnetic explosive device to her car and sped away.