Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Delhi HC refuses set aside Special Judge’s order extending custody of alleged “Jihadi Terrorists”

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The Delhi High Court has refused to set aside order passed by Special Judge, NIA, Patiala House Court extending investigation and custody of alleged “Jihadi Terrorists”, Najmus Sakib and Al Mamun Kamal inspire by the terrorist organization Al Qaeda held at Tihar Jail.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar noted in its judgment, “justifiable grounds made out by the respondent in the application / report for seeking the extension. Moreover, the Ld. ASJ after due application of mind extended the period to only 45 days as against the 90 days as claimed by the respondent.”

The petition sought direction setting aside an order passed by the Additional Session Judge-03, Special Judge, NIA, Patiala House Court in which period of investigation and custody of Sakib and Kamal was extended for a further period of 45 days with an direction to the investigating agency to expedite the investigation.

Sakib a B.Sc student at Kalyani University, West Bengal and Kamal a labourer working as a mason and driver and others were allegedly planning “anti-national/terrorist” activities at several locations in India. They were arrested from their residence in West Bengal on September 19, 2020 while seizing their laptop, phones, personal diary, religious literature, etc along with 8 other accused.

Counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that all the documentary and electronic evidence in the form of phone, laptop was already in the custody of the investigating officer, hence there is no threat of destruction of the same by the petitioners.

It was further added that the IO cited “pandemic situation” for delay in getting the response from Central Forensic Science Laboratory, whereas, as per the observation of the Supreme Court in the case of S. Kasi Vs. State, lockdown cannot be used to deny rights of the accused.

Whereas, the Special Public Prosecutor contended that it has emerged in the investigation that the petitioner conspired with others to recruit members to the group which was inspired by the ideology and affiliated to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.

However, the bench while dismissing the petition observed, “In case the application is moved much prior to the period prescribed for completing the investigation, it would clearly be premature as there would be much time left for completing the investigation within the prescribed period of investigation. In any case there is no time period provided for moving such application, in case the investigation is not complete within the prescribed period despite efforts.”

-India Legal Bureau

Read Also: Allahabad HC penalises man with Rs 3 lakh costs for repeated filing of same petition

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