Terror funding case: Delhi HC seeks NIA's response on plea challenging framing of charges against separatist leader

Nayeem Khan (File photo)
Nayeem Khan (File photo)

New Delhi, May 3: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on an appeal by separatist leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan opposing the trial court order framing charges against him in a Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case of alleged terror funding.

The NIA has accused Khan of causing unrest in the Kashmir Valley and was arrested on July 24, 2017. A special NIA court had framed charges under different sections of the IPC, including sedition and UAPA against Khan on March 16, 2022, which has been challenged by him in the appeal.

It is alleged that there was a bigger criminal conspiracy to disrupt life in the Kashmir valley by "pelting stones on the security forces, systematically burning of schools, damage to public property and waging war against India."

Khan, who has been in custody since August 14, 2017, had also filed an appeal against an order dated December 2022, denying him bail in the case.

During the hearing on Wednesday, a division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh issued notice on Khan's appeal against the order framing charges.

The bench listed the matter to be heard on August 3 with Khan's appeal against the order denying bail.

The special NIA court had noted that thorough scrutiny of the evidence and statements of numerous witnesses was done at the time of the charges being framed, and it was concluded that there is adequate evidence available creating "grave suspicion" regarding Khan's involvement, hence denying him bail.

According to Khan's appeal, the evidence is "marred by material inconsistencies, falsehoods, and logical leaps", which cannot be relied upon to keep him in custody under UAPA.

However, objecting to Khan's bail appeal, the NIA has argued that the collected evidence establishes a prima facie case against him and that he was involved in terrorist and funding activities.

To support the claim, NIA has said that certain letters were found during search and seizure from Khan's residence showing that he was getting students admitted for MBBS courses in Pakistan.

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