2 April 2023 5:45 AM GMT
A Delhi Court has discharged three men — Manzer Imam, Ariz Khan and Abdul Wahid, for lack of proof in a UAPA case registered in 2012 in connection with the alleged conspiracy to wage war against India by members of banned terrorist organization “Indian Mujahideen.” Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik of Patiala House Courts however framed charges against Md. Danish Ansari,...
A Delhi Court has discharged three men — Manzer Imam, Ariz Khan and Abdul Wahid, for lack of proof in a UAPA case registered in 2012 in connection with the alleged conspiracy to wage war against India by members of banned terrorist organization “Indian Mujahideen.”
Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik of Patiala House Courts however framed charges against Md. Danish Ansari, Mohd. Aftab Alam, Imran Khan, Syed Maqbool, Obaid Ur Rehman, Mohd. Ahmad Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal, Asaudullah Akhtar, Ujjair Ahmad, Md. Tehsin Akhtar, Haider Ali and Zia Ur Rehman.
They have been charged under various offences of UAPA and Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Delhi Court discharges three men namely Manzer Imam, Ariz Khan and Abdul Wahid for lack of proof in a 2012 #UAPA case alleging that they conspired to wage war against India being operatives of Indian Mujahideen.Charges have been framed against 11 men.#DelhiCourt pic.twitter.com/o8HNVOfdvM— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) April 2, 2023
Delhi Court discharges three men namely Manzer Imam, Ariz Khan and Abdul Wahid for lack of proof in a 2012 #UAPA case alleging that they conspired to wage war against India being operatives of Indian Mujahideen.Charges have been framed against 11 men.#DelhiCourt pic.twitter.com/o8HNVOfdvM
Those who are discharged include Manzar Imam, who was convicted in another case in 2018 for being associated with Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). He was arrested in the present case on October 01 in 2013.
Imam’s plea seeking bail in the matter, which is pending before Delhi High Court, will now be infructuous pursuant to his discharge. His other plea highlighting the pendency of NIA cases in trial courts however remains pending.
Ariz Khan, who also has been discharged, has been sentenced to death in the Batla house encounter case and is also facing trial for bomb blast cases of other states. He was arrested in 2018. Khan’s appeal against death sentence is pending in the high court.
Abdul Wahid, a Dubai based Driver, was arrested on May 20, 2016 from IGI Airport.
It was the NIA’s case that functionaries of Indian Mujahideen undertook large scale recruitment of new members for commission of terrorist activities in various parts of India to commit terrorist acts by bomb blasts at prominent places, especially in the national capital.
A total of 30 accused persons were arrayed as accused in the matter. NIA filed four chargesheets.
In the order running into 121 pages, the special NIA judge observed that there is nothing on record to establish that Manzar Imam was in any manner connected with Indian Mujahideen.
Discharging him in the matter, the court said that there is no evidence or statement of any witness showing that Imam was doing any act to further the cause, object or in any manner supporting, assisting the objectives of Indian Mujahideen.
However, the court noted that while Imam was convicted in another case in 2018 under sections 10, 20 and 38 of UAPA and section 4 of Explosive Substance Act, he was not convicted for offence of conspiracy under section 18 of the UAPA despite being charged for it.
“Perusal of the judgment in Kerala case as well as order in Ahmedabad case show that although accused Manzar Imam was found involved in participating in terrorist camp in Kerala while being associated with SIMI but beside that nothing proved on the record of those cases,” it said.
While discharging Ariz Khan, the court said that though the prosecution relied upon a confessional statement about Batla House incident which was celebrated by some IM operatives, there was no specific attribution against Khan to establish his connection in the present matter.
“Though in that confessional statement name of accused Ariz Khan has been referred to repeatedly being involved in different offences but still this document cannot be taken into consideration in alone for framing the charge of any offence under UA(P) Act,” the court said.
It added: “As such material on the record though establish the inculpability of A-13 Ariz Khan in many terrorist activities as well as his association with Indian Mujahideen in respect of incidences of terrorist activities. For which he has faced trial in on one case and facing trial in other, however for allegations in present case, there is no sufficient evidence on the record for framing the charge in this case.”
While discharging the third accused, the special judge said that although two prosecution witnesses stated that Abdul Wahid Khan was having a “radicalized outlook” and used to recite verses of Holy Quran referring to Jihad in Islam, it is not sufficient to frame charges under section 17 of UAPA.
Khan was accused of being the “channelizer of funds” received from IM operatives in Pakistan via Dubai for use of IM operatives based in India for conducting terrorist activities.
“Facts as stated by these witnesses, even if taken on the face of it, though show that thought, ideas and approach of A- 30 was not on correct side of law and was fundamentalist. This however being an individual approach of a man, in the absence of any supporting material, to my mind are not sufficient for proving Section 17 of the Act,” the court said.
It also said that there is nothing to establish that there was any prior meeting of mind or any concert for commission of a terrorist activity or involvement of Khan in preparatory acts to commit terrorist activity.
“Similarly this court also finds that necessary ingredients of Section 20 of UA(P) Act are not proved as against A-30 as there is no other involvement of A-30 in any incidence of terrorist activity and evidence against him in the present case as discussed above, does not by any stretch of imagination establish even prima facie ingredients of section 20,” it said.
The court directed all three to be released forthwith, if not required in any other case.
“These accused are also directed to furnish bail bonds in the sum of Rs.50,000/- with one surety each in like amount in terms of Section 437A Cr.P.C,” the judge said.
Title: State (NIA) vs. Mohd. Danish Ansari & Ors.