Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Supreme Court issues notice in plea against ruling of Karnataka High Court that attending jihadi meetings is not terrorist act

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The Supreme Court has issued notice in an appeal which was moved by the Union government against the High Court of Karnataka which ruled that attending jihadi meetings of organisations which are not outlawed by the government does not amount to a terrorist act.

A Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli issued notice returnable in four weeks.

The Central government was represented by the Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati appeared for

The Karnataka High Court in April this year, had said that attending jihadi meetings, purchasing training materials, and organising training shelters for members of an organisation which is not banned by the government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), will not amount to ‘terrorist act’ under Section 2(k) of UAPA.

Considering the ruling in the case, a Division Bench of Justice B Veerappa and Justice S Rachaiah, had granted bail to a person charged with terror offences under the UAPA as he was associated with was not a banned organization.

The High Court which is currently dealing with a similar sort of case said that the prosecution has not proved that accused no 11 has associated himself with any organization which is prohibited or barred under the provisions of the UA(P) Act.

The Court further added that the accused is a member of Al-Hind group. It is not a prohibited organization under the Schedule of the UA(P) Act, 1967 and the chargesheet material does not depict that he was convicted for the offences involved or crimes or terrorist activities… there are no reasonable grounds for for believing the accusation against the accused no 11 prima facie true,”

A case was registered against 17 accused persons which was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA),later during its probe it found more information about the appellants before the High Court.

A chargesheet was later filed against them under the provisions of Sections 18 (punishment for conspiracy) 18A (organising of terrorist camps) 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The accused had filed for bail, which was rejected by the trial court on the grounds that there was sufficient material indicating their involvement in the alleged crime, after which he approached the High Court.

The Central government has now moved the Supreme Court in appeal against the High Court verdict.

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