New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday called for a further status report on the progress of National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases pending in the special designated NIA Courts. The matter has been listed on October 20, 2022 for further hearing.
Justice Jasmeet Singh on Friday issued directions to the Central Government and other respondents to file a further status report.
"Let the respondents file a further status report, indicating the progress of these cases within 4 weeks from today."
The bench issued the direction on the plea of Manzer Imam who is accused under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
His counsel submitted before the bench that now there are two designated Courts dealing with NIA investigated schedule offences cases. However, the hearing is being done by only one Sessions Court.
Earlier, an affidavit was filed on behalf of respondent Delhi High court mentioning the details of the cases pending before the two designated courts dealing with NIA.
The predecessor bench noted that it is evident from the affidavit that in each of the trials there are a number of accused ranging from 4 to 14 and witnesses nearing 100 to 500 and thus the trials take considerably longer time.
It was further noted that the offences being serious and many a time involving foreign nationals bails are not granted easily, thus it is paramount that offences under the UAPA whether investigated by the NIA or by the special cell are tried by the designated Courts expeditiously that have no other matters listed before them so that the trials can be expedited.
The bench had directed that a further affidavit will be filed by the High Court of Delhi indicating the steps to streamline expeditious trials in UAPA cases.
The present petition has raised two issues. Firstly, in view of the pendency before the special designated Courts dealing with NIA cases, other trials should not be listed due to which the NIA trials get delayed.
The second issue contended by the intervenor was that besides the NIA, investigation into offences under UAPA is also conducted by the special cell and the trials in which charge sheets filed by the Special cell are before other courts which also deal with other trials resulting in a delay in the said trials.
Syed Mohd Zishan Ali, an accused in a UAPA case, had moved an intervention application
The petitioner Manzer Imam had in 2021 moved the petition stating the delay in the trial for the reason only two Courts in Delhi have been notified as designated Courts for the trials under the UAPA thereby resulting delay in the trial.
He sought a direction to the respondents to ensure/notify that special courts under section 11 NIA Act in Delhi should deal exclusively with NIA investigated schedule offences so that trials can be expedited besides day-to-day hearings. The petitioner had also sought directions from the Special Court to conclude his trial on day-to-day basis. (ANI)