7 Aug 2023 6:21 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of the National Investigation Agency on a plea moved by Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah for regular bail in an alleged terror funding case. A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anish Dayal issued notice on Shah’s appeal challenging an order passed by the special judge on July 07 rejecting his bail plea....
The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of the National Investigation Agency on a plea moved by Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah for regular bail in an alleged terror funding case.
A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anish Dayal issued notice on Shah’s appeal challenging an order passed by the special judge on July 07 rejecting his bail plea.
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for Shah submitted that it is a “no material case” and that chargesheet has already been filed by the central probe agency in the matter.
"The chargesheet has been filed. Charges have been framed. The trial has begun. His appeal challenging order framing charges is pending before this court… This is a no material case. We want to argue there is no material at all,” he told the bench.
The court issued notice in the appeal and directed the NIA to place relevant material on record within two weeks with advanced copies to Shah.
The matter will now be heard on September 12.
The appeal, filed through Advocates Mugdha and Kamran Khwaja, submits that there is no mention about Shah in the main and first supplementary chargesheet filed by NIA where it has been shown that the offences had allegedly occurred as a result of the conspiracy.
“Therefore, in the absence of any material/material against the appellant, the prolonged period of incarceration, the impossibility of speedy trial with 400 witnesses to be examined by the prosecution, the appellant seeks bail,” the appeal states.
It adds: “That the Appellant has been incarcerated for over 4 years in the present FIR and intermittently for 35 years in different prisons in Kashmir and the country apart from being under house arrest for a substantial period, without a single conviction or charge against him. A total of 9 PSAs against him have been quashed and it is only now that he has been charged for the first time by the ED in case ECIR no./04/DZ/2007, in which too, the Appellant maintains his innocence.”
NIA has alleged that various accused persons conspired for raising and collecting funds for causing disruption in the Kashmir valley and to wage war against the government of India. Shah was arrested in June 2019 and he was arrayed as an accused in the second supplementary chargesheet filed by NIA on October 04, 2019.
The allegations against him are that he played a key role in building a separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir, paying tribute to family of slain terrorists, receiving money through hawala transactions and raising funds through LOC trade used to “fule subversive and militant activities.”
In March last year, the trial court framed charges against Shabir and various others including Yasin Malik, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Salahuddin, Rashid Engineer, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shahid-ul-Islam, Altaf Ahmad Shah @ Fantoosh, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar @ Bitta Karate.
Yasin Malik was later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. NIA’s appeal seeking death penalty for Malik is pending before the High Court.
Title: Shabir Ahmed Shah v. National Investigation Agency