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Delhi HC dismisses plea of 2 suspected terror accused challenging order extending their judicial custody

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2021 15:26 IST

New Delhi [India], January 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea of two suspected terror accused challenging a trial court order extending their judicial custody for another 45 days.
A single-judge bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar on Friday dismissed the plea of Najmus Sakib and Al Mamun Kamal.
Both of them have sought to set aside the impugned orders dated December 16, 2020, passed by the Special Judge NIA, Patiala House Court, New Delhi, whereby the period of investigation and custody of the above petitioners was extended for a further period of 45 days with directions to the investigating agency to expedite the investigation.
Defence Counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that the impugned orders remanding the petitioners to judicial custody and extending their detention by 45 days are arbitrary and without any basis and the application was moved seven days before the 90th day of the petitioners' custody were to expire and moved with the sole purposes of thwarting the petitioners right to move statutory bail under section 167(2) of CrPC.
On December 16, 2020, the trial court extended the period of investigation and the period of detention of the petitioners by 45 days under Section 43D(2)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

"I find no force in the contention of the counsel for the petitioner because UA (P) Act provides for the extension of the period of investigation for a further period of 90 days i.e. totaling to 180 days. It is only when the prescribed period of completing the investigation is expiring and the investigation is not complete in that event the application for extension of the period of investigation lie," the court said.
"In case the application is moved much prior to the period prescribed for completing the investigation, it would clearly be premature as there would be much time left for completing the investigation within the prescribed period of investigation. In any case, there is no time period provided for moving such application, in case the investigation is not complete within the prescribed period despite efforts," the court said.
"As far as the contention that there were no compelling reasons, seeking an extension of time for completing the investigation, hereinabove in the judgment I have already held that there were justifiable grounds made out by the respondent in the application/report for seeking the extension. Moreover, the Ld. ASJ after due application of mind extended the period to only 45 days as against the 90 days as claimed by the respondent," the court said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested both the accused on September 19, 2020, in the early hours from their permanent residence at Murshidabad district, West Bengal and brought them to Delhi.
Najmus Sakib is a twenty-two-year-old student of B.Sc (Honours) Computer Science at Dumkal College, Murshidabad affiliated to Kalyani University, West Bengal and he recently took his 4th Semester examinations from Tihar Jail Complex where he is currently lodged. Petitioner Al Mamun Kamal is around 36-year-old wage labourer, who last worked as a mason and driver during the lockdown and is currently lodged in the Tihar Jail Complex.
As per the FIR registered on September 11, 2020, the suspected offence was that a group of "jihadi terrorists" inspired by the globally proscribed terrorist organization Al Qaeda, consisting of more than 10 members mostly of Bengali origin, were planning "anti-national/terrorist" activities at several locations in India. (ANI)