UAPA- Delhi High Court Rejects Plea Against Extension Of Period Of Investigation And Detention Of 'Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives'
The High Court of Delhi on Thursday refused to set aside the Trial Court's order directing extension in the period of investigation and custody of the accused for a period of 45 days with directions to the investigating agency to expedite the investigation. A single Bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar heard the plea by two accused NajmusSakib and Al Mamun Kamal against order passed...
The High Court of Delhi on Thursday refused to set aside the Trial Court's order directing extension in the period of investigation and custody of the accused for a period of 45 days with directions to the investigating agency to expedite the investigation.
A single Bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar heard the plea by two accused NajmusSakib and Al Mamun Kamal against order passed by Special Judge, NIA, Patiala House Court extending the period of investigation and their detention by 45 days under the UAPA Act and remanding them to judicial custody.
The Court observed that extension was given by Trial Court after considering the progress of investigation as only a 45 days extension was granted as opposed to the 90 days extension sought by the investigating agency. It also noted that justifiable grounds were made out by the investigating agency in the application filed for seeking the extension.
The petitioners, including a 22-year old students and 36-year old wage labourer were arrested from their permanent residence in West Bengal along with 10 other accused arrested for allegedly planning anti-national and terrorist activities. They have been accused of the "suspected offence" of belonging to a group of "jihadi terrorists" inspired by the terrorist organization Al Qaeda, and planning terrorist activities at several locations in India.
According to the Investigating Agency, during the investigation involvement of the petitioners along with 10 other persons has emerged and many incriminating material and documents were seized after searches were conducted at their respective addresses in September 2020. It has therefore emerged that the petitioners conspired with other accused persons to recruit members to the group which was inspired by the ideology and affiliated to terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.
The High Court noted that the application seeking extension clearly depicted the reasons for not completing the investigation in 90 days, and has disclosed the progress made in the investigation.
The Court found no force in contention of the Petitioner Counsel that the filing of the application 7 days prior to the expiry of 90th day clearly showed the malafide and had been done only with the sole purpose to deny the statutory bail to the petitioner. The Court clarified that the UAPA Act provides for extension of period of investigation for a further period of 90 days i.e. totalling to 180 days and only when the prescribed period of completing the investigation is expiring and the investigation is still not complete is when the application seeking extension is filed. Therefore if the application is moved much prior to the period prescribed for completing the investigation, it would clearly be premature.