3 May 2023 6:10 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court this week denied default bail to Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN (IM)) leader Alemla Jamir, arrested in a terror funding case probed by National Investigation Agency.A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh dismissed Jamir’s appeal challenging an order passed by Special NIA court on July 03,...
The Delhi High Court this week denied default bail to Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN (IM)) leader Alemla Jamir, arrested in a terror funding case probed by National Investigation Agency.
A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh dismissed Jamir’s appeal challenging an order passed by Special NIA court on July 03, 2020, dismissing her application, seeking release on statutory bail, on the ground that the chargesheet was filed within the limitation period.
“In our view it is too late in the day for the appellant to raise the issue of filing an incomplete charge-sheet as the case has already progressed much further and has reached to the stage where part evidence has already been recorded and it implies that the charge-sheet filed against the present appellant is complete charge-sheet, so there is no question of grant of default bail,” the court said in its order passed on May 01.
It was NIA’s case that Jamir was apprehended on her way from Delhi to Dimapur at the IGIA Airport by CISF on the ground that she was in possession of cash amounting to Rs. 72 lakhs.
Since she could not explain her source of cash, the NIA alleged that the information was passed on to the Income Tax Department after which she was interrogated under Section 131(1A) of the Income Tax Act.
As per NIA, the cash belonged to National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah faction and the same was handed-over to her by an associate to be taken over to Dimapur, Nagaland.
Thereafter, an FIR was registered under sections 10, 13, 17, 18, 20 and 21 of UAPA Act for “aiding and abetting NSCN-IM terrorist organization and their activities.”
Before the High Court, Jamir’s counsel sought her release on statutory bail on the ground that after filing of the chargesheet on June 11, 2020, no order was passed remanding her to custody even on the adjourned date.
Jamir had raised an objection that there was no valid judicial remand order available on the court file as on July 03, 2020, after taking cognizance against her.
Denying relief to Jamir, the bench said that the under-trial has to remain in judicial custody after taking cognizance, unless and until a bail order is passed.
The court also said that it was not possible for Jamir to be produced before the special court because of the COVID-19 restrictions prevalent at that time and thus, her remand was rightly extended by the Duty Metropolitan Magistrate.
“Hence, in our view filing of a complete charge-sheet within the stipulated period is sufficient compliance and no default bail can be granted in a case where cognizance was taken later on and the custody of the accused/appellant cannot be termed as illegal only on the ground that sufficient amount of time was spent by the court clerk to raise objections regarding page numbering and illegible documents etc., and the respondent/NIA had taken some time to respond to the said objections and after removal of objections, the cognizance was rightly taken on 03.07.2020,” the court said.
The bench concluded that there was no illegality or infirmity in the orders passed by the special NIA court from time to time regarding Jamir’s detention and dismissed her appeal as being devoid of merits.
Title: ALEMLA JAMIR v. NIA
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 363
Click Here To Read Order