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Supreme Court approached by NIA against Madras High Court order granting bail to lawyer M Mohammed Abbas accused of PFI links

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The Supreme Court of India has been approached by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the order by the Madras High Court granting bail to Madurai-based lawyer M Mohammed Abbas, who is alleged to have link with Popular Front of India (PFI) which is a banned organiation.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing NIA, mentioned the appeal and sought a stay on the bail order.

A Bench comprising Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela Trivedi clarified that they cannot provide a stay during the mentioning stage without reviewing the case files.

The Bench, however, indicated that it would hear the matter and listed it for hearing on August 5, subject to clearance by the Chief Justice of India.

In the challenged order, the Madras High Court had rejected the oral request by NIA seeking leave under Article 134 of the Constitution to challenge the bail order before the Supreme Court.

The High Court had dismissed the petition filed by Abbas, seeking quashing of charges gainst him on the grounds that NIA had found an easy victim in him.

The Counsel of Abbbas stated how the Facebook post had offended the agency along with a complaint against one of its Superintendents of Police made by Abbas.

The counsel claimed that the complaint was an immediate triggers for his client’s arrest.

The High Court, however, said that the special court should decide on the issue of malafide at the time of trial.

It also closed the habeas corpus petition filed by Abbas’ family members following his arrest.

The High Court had asked Abbas to execute a bond and furnish two sureties for a sum of Rs one lakh.

The court has also directed him to stay in Chennai, to cooperate with the probe agency and keep his mobile phone “active and charged” at all times to ensure that he was reachable always. 

Abbas along with four others were arrested by the NIA on May 9 in connection with the Tamil Nadu PFI criminal conspiracy case.

All the arrested were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on charges of being members of the banned outfit.

As per a release issued by NIA, investigation revealed that the accused had conspired and planned to eliminate their ‘perceived enemies,’ who were not aligned to the PFI ideology and were opposed to its plans to establish an Islamic State in India by 2047.

The release further highlighted that in pursuance of the conspiracy, the accused had radicalised a large number of PFI cadre by training them.

It also added that the acccused radicalised youth by handpicking them for the outfit’s leadership.

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