A court here on Tuesday granted bail to editor Urdu daily Afaaq, Ghulam Jeelani Qadri, who was arrested by police Monday night in a 1990s case.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar Gowhar Majeed Dalal granted the bail to Qadri after hearing his counsel -Reyaz Khawar, Tasaduq Khawaja and Bashir Sidiq.
“The court granted bail in favour of Qadri and asked him to remain present before it on July 31, the next date of hearing,” advocate Reyaz Khawar told Greater Kashmir.
The court, Khawar said, also directed SHO Police Station Saheed Ganj and the investigating officer of the case to remain present along with the case diary on July 31.
The court sought explanation from the concerned police officers asking them as to why the warrants were suddenly executed after 27 years, Khawar said.
62-year old Qadri was arrested on Tuesday night at 11.30 pm after he reached home from work.
Police invoked a 1990s case against eight journalists and editors. Of the eight accused, Sofi Ghulam Muhammad of ‘Srinagar Times’ and Ghulam Muhammad Aarif of ‘Daily Hamdard’ have already passed away.
Qadri through his counsel moved an application before the CJM Srinagar for seeking bail and dropping his proceedings under the relevant section of CrPC.
While arguing the bail plea, the counsel said that police had moved an application way back in 1990s before the court praying that the accused by declared as proclaimed offender.
They said the charge-sheet had been produced by police without producing the accused and without his knowledge,” they said.
“While the court had then issued warrants under Criminal Procedure Code, the Police have suddenly executed the warrants after 27 years,” they argued.
They further pleaded that the same Police station has given the verification regarding the passport of the accused and his family.
They pleaded that the senior journalist had been available at his office and home during all these years and has not violated any law.
“Challan cannot be presented in absence of the accused but can be filed only if the accused is absconder,” they said.