Delhi HC grants NIA 10 days time to file documents on separatist leader s bail plea in terror funding case

New Delhi, Sep 12 : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted 10 days time to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to place on record relevant documents on Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah's plea for regular bail in connection with an alleged terror funding case. Shah's appeal challenges an order passed by a special judge on July 7, which had rejected his bail plea. On Special Public Prosecutor for NIA Akshai Malik asking for 10 days time to file documents, the court granted it time and posted the matter for next hearing on September 22. On August 7, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing Shah, had argued that the case lacked substantial evidence, referring to it as a "no material case". He had said that a charge sheet had already been filed by the probe agency, adding that the trial had commenced and charges had been framed. He had further said that Shah's appeal against the order framing charges was pending before the court, and he intended to argue that there was a lack of material evidence. The court had issued notice and directed the NIA to submit relevant material within the next two weeks, posting the matter for the next hearing for September 12. "In the absence of any material/material against the appellant, the prolonged period of incarceration, the impossibility of speedy trial with 400 witnesses to be examined by the prosecution, the appellant seeks bail,??? the appeal states. "Appellant has been incarcerated for over four years in the present FIR and intermittently for 35 years in different prisons in Kashmir and the country apart from being under house arrest for a substantial period, without a single conviction or charge against him. A total of 9 PSAs against him have been quashed and it is only now that he has been charged for the first time by the ED in case ECIR no./04/DZ/2007, in which too, the Appellant maintains his innocence," it adds. Shah was arrested in June 2019, and is alleged to have played a significant role in establishing a separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir. He is also accused of honouring the families of deceased terrorists, receiving funds through hawala transactions, and raising money via LoC trade to support subversive and militant activities. The NIA has claimed that several individuals accused of conspiring to gather funds to disrupt the situation in Kashmir and wage war against the Indian government have been involved. Shah was included as a defendant in the second supplementary charge sheet filed by the NIA on October 4, 2019. /IANS


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