Delhi Supreme Court
– Photo: Amar Ujala
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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was challenged by the arrested members of the organization before the Delhi High Court on Monday to give more time to complete the investigation in the case registered under the UAPA anti-terror law against the banned organization. A bench of Judge Siddharth Mridul and Judge Talwant Singh set the next hearing for January 25.
The petitioners’ counsel, Mohd Yusuf and others, called the court’s December 19 order to extend the time limit for conducting the investigation by 60 days incorrect. He said the agency was given extra time without notifying him of the prosecution’s report. The report was submitted in a sealed envelope. NIA’s counsel said that according to the Supreme Court’s previous ruling, the prosecution’s report cannot be given to a defendant in a UAPA case and that in the present case, the court has heard the defendant’s side. The applicants’ counsel states that the investigation agency has not given any specific reason for extending the investigation period.
It was also argued that filing the prosecution’s report in a sealed envelope was against the law. If, according to the UAPA, it is not possible to complete the investigation within a 90-day period, the court may extend it to 180 days. A large number of alleged PFI activists were detained or arrested in several states in mass raids prior to the nationwide ban imposed on PFI on September 28, 2022. Following this, the government banned PFI and some of its affiliates for five years under UAPA.