NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has sought three terror suspects' response on the plea of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging trial court order rejecting the extension of police custody of accused in the Jammu and Kashmir terrorism case.
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the three suspects, arrested in connection with a case relating to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, to file a response on the NIA's plea challenging a trial court order which rejected the application filed by the probe agency earlier seeking further extension of police custody of three accused.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar asked three accused Owais Ahmad Dar, Arif Farooq Bhat, and Kamran Ashraf Reshi to file a response on the NIA's plea and listed the matter for February 2.
Police custody for the three accused persons - Owais Ahmad Dar, Arif Farooq Bhat, and Kamran Ashraf Reshi, was sought by NIA for confronting the accused persons with their social media and phone data to unearth the larger conspiracy.
The NIA had apprised the Delhi High Court that the data from the electronic devices of accused persons is often not received in time from CERT-In and CFSL, as a result of which confronting the accused with all relevant evidence is not possible within the first 30 days, especially in cases of large and complex international conspiracies.
According to the NIA petition, on November 27, Patiala House Court's Principal District and Sessions Judge has rejected the application filed by NIA, seeking police custody in respect of certain accused persons on the ground under the second provision in Section 43D(2)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA). The accused was on police remand and 30 days from the first remand have been expired.
"Indisputably, the police custody in respect of each of the accused persons has been granted for a period less than the maximum period of 30 days as permitted by the UAPA," the NIA said in its petition.
The NIA submitted that the order is contrary to the legislative intent of Section 43D(2)(b) the UAPA which unequivocally allows the police to seek remand of the accused of the purposes of investigation, till the upper limit of 30 days is reached with intervals in between till the time accused remains in custody in terms of the provision.
"The impugned order is also contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Maulavi Hussein Haji Abraham Umarji v. the State of Gujarat, (2004) 6 SCC 672 in the context of Section 49(2)(b) of Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 ("POTA") which is 'pari materia' to Section 43D(2)(b) where the Supreme Court rejected the conclusion of the Single Judge," the NIA said.
The NIA also said in its petition that the present case has arisen in the backdrop of the recent spurt in terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. A complaint was registered by the NIA on October 10 pertaining to a large-scale conspiracy funded and controlled by international terror groups and their affiliates in India to spread terror in Jammu and Kashmir.
Therefore, the NIA has sought to quash the order dated November 27 passed by the trial court.