HC notice to police on plea challenging extension granted for UAPA probe
new delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought Delhi Police's response on a plea by an accused, booked under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA, challenging the extension of time granted to complete the investigation in a case related to north-east Delhi riots in February.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to the Delhi Police on the petition by Khalid, who is a member of a campaign group — United Against Hate — and is lodged in judicial custody in the case.
The accused has sought to set aside the trial court's August 13 order by which the police were granted an extension till September 17 to complete investigation against 10 people booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case.
United Against Hate was a citizens' campaign launched in 2017 to protest against the series of lynchings in the country and was allegedly involved in the violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in which financial support was purportedly provided by the PFI.
Advocates Amit Mahajan and Rajat Nair, appearing for Delhi Police, said since the issue involves largely questions of law, they will file a short note of submissions along with case laws.
The high court also allowed advocate Bhavook Chauhaan, appearing for Khalid, to file a short note on the submissions. The high court listed the matter for further hearing on September 1. The plea sought to set aside the trial court order so that he can be released on bail till the pendency of the case.
"Grave prejudice has been caused to the petitioner (Khalid) as without supply of the copy of the said application, and a copy of the prosecutor's report, the petitioner was unaware of the grounds invoked by the prosecution seeking extension of his detention, thereby depriving him of a fair opportunity to take legitimate and legal grounds available to him, to oppose the said application.
The trial court has granted further time to the police to complete its pending probe against Jamia Coordination Committee member Meeran Haider, Jamia students Asif Iqbal Tanha and Gulfisha Khatoon, Jamia Alumni Association President Shifa-Ur-Rehman, JNU students and Pinjra Tod members Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, suspended AAP councilor Tahir Hussain, former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and United Against Hate member Khalid and Shadab Ahmed.
Pinjra Tod (Break the Cage) was founded in 2015 to make hostels and paying guest accommodations less restrictive for women students.
The trial court had earlier extended time till August 14 for completion of the investigation against Khalid and Jahan, till August 24 in the case of Rehman and till August 29 for Haider, Hussain and Khatoon.
The prosecutor had said before the trial court that the investigation could not be completed for Khalid and Jahan by August 14 in view of the inter-linkages and overall
Section 43-D (2) of UAPA provides that if it is not possible to complete the investigation within the 90-day period, then upon the report of the public prosecutor indicating the progress of the probe and the specific reasons for the detention of the accused beyond the 90 days period, after satisfaction, the court can extend the period of the probe to 180 days.