The Bombay High Court today upheld a special court order granting bail to Areeb Majeed, 27, accused of having links to the ISIS terrorist network.
A division bench made up of Judges SS Shinde and Manish Pitale has ruled on an appeal by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging the order of the special court granting bail to the suspected ISIS terrorist Areeb Majeed.
In March last year, Majeed was released on bail by a special NIA court which noted that the pace of the trial was slow and also on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove its prima facie case. against the accused.
The High Court said that while upholding the lower court’s order granting Majeed bail on the ground of the stay of the trial, it set aside the submissions made by her (the lower court) on the merits of the case.
According to the order, while Majeed’s slow trial appears to be on “solid ground”, the NIA ad hoc courts’ observation of the lack of prima facie case established at this point was “flawed.”
The High Court noted that the right to a fair and expeditious trial is a constitutional right and that if after a long and lengthy trial the accused is found not guilty, then the number of years he has spent as a that sub-trial can never be made. for them.
He said that in cases where a person is convicted of serious and heinous crimes, the courts are required to perform a balancing act, in order to ensure that a “middle ground” is struck between human rights. individual and those of society as a whole.
In its order, the high court said that Majeed had been charged under the provisions of the Strict Illegal Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and was charged with having returned to India with the intention of carrying out criminal acts. terrorist activities here.
“However, no deaths were caused by the alleged plans made by the respondent (Majeed), as he was arrested when he landed in India,” the court said.
Majeed has been in detention for more than six years now, the High Court said, adding that the process of examining some 50 witnesses had taken more than five years and, admittedly, there are 107 more witnesses to interview.
“Therefore, there is no likelihood that the trial will end within a reasonable time in the near future,” the court said.
The bench, while setting aside and setting aside the lower court’s submissions on the lack of a prima facie case, said it was odd that the NIA court had ruled that at this point the prosecution no ‘had failed to prove the case prima facie on the basis of questioning 49 witnesses.
“The findings in favor of the respondent (Majeed) in the judgment under appeal (lower court order) appear flawed,” the High Court said in its order.
“We are of the opinion that the examination of the evidence of 49 witnesses already interviewed, with 107 witnesses remaining to be questioned, was an irrelevant consideration taken into account by the NIA tribunal,” said the bench.
He noted that Majeed was an educated person and also came from an educated family, hence his release on bail with strict conditions imposed would not harm society as a whole or harm the trial.
The bench ordered Majeed to provide Rs 1 lakh as a bond and also ordered him to stay with his family in Kalyan in the neighboring district of Thane.
Majeed must appear before police in Kalyan twice a day for the first two months and once a day for the following two months.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh argued that there are still over 100 witnesses to be interviewed in the trial against Majeed and that, therefore, the NIA tribunal should not have jumped to the conclusion that the prima facie case has not been established by the prosecution.
The NIA’s case was that Majeed and three others had traveled to Syria ostensibly on pilgrimage, but never visited the places of pilgrimage and instead joined ISIS with the intention of engaging in jihadist activity.
The investigative agency had also claimed that Majeed had returned to India with the intention of carrying out terrorist activities, including an attack on the Mumbai police headquarters.
Majeed was arrested in November 2014 under the provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code for allegedly waging a war against the nation and other charges.
He was released on bail in March last year by a special NIA court.
The NIA then contacted the HC, challenging the lower court order.
The High Court then in an interim order suspended the execution of the granted bond, pending the hearing of the NIA’s appeal.
Therefore, Majeed continued to stay in prison.
While opposing the NIA’s appeal, Majeed argued that he only went to Syria to help people and denied all charges against him.
He had told the High Court that it was his father who contacted the NIA and other government agencies to bring him back to India.
He had also argued that the trial in that case was progressing slowly and that there was no possibility that it would end in the near future.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)