Srinagar: A Special Court in Srinagar on Thursday granted bail to Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) former Secretary Muhammad Akbar Sofi in assassination case of prominent journalist Syed Sujhaat Bukhari.
Sofi was arrested by Police on 7 July this year for his alleged involvement in running an online blog site which ran smear campaigns against prominent personalities in Kashmir.
After hearing prosecution and defence counsels advocate Arzaan Ahmad Dar and Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, the Court of Special Additional and Sessions Judge TADA/POTA Srinagar Manjeet Singh Manhas said that grounds invoked by accused in bail application in FIR number 51/2018 at Police Station Kothibagh make him entitled to the bail and was accordingly granted bail in this case. “Whereas by virtue of the order, the petitioner has been admitted to bail on furnishing bail bonds with one surety to the tune of two lakh rupees. Same has been furnished accepted and attested by this court,” the court said.
“You (Central Jail Srinagar authorities) are as such directed to release the accused person from the custody after obtaining personal bonds in the like amount provided that he is not involved in any other case or offences,” it adds.
The court also imposed several conditions on the accused including that he will appear before the investigating officer (IO) and cooperate with the IO as and when directed.
The other conditions include that he shall not induce witnesses or the prosecution directly or indirectly and shall not temper with the evidence of the prosecution. “That the accused person shall not commit similar offences in near future. He person shall not leave the state without seeking prior permission of the court and will not change their residence during the said period,” the court said. However Sofi will remain in custody in ‘Kashmirfight’ Blog case registered under FIR number 82/2020 under sections 13,16,18,20 ULAP Act.
“There are three separate FIRs registered against my client. Out of three, he got the bail in one of the cases today,” advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar who represented Sofi, told Greater Kashmir. On 7 July, this year, Police had claimed to have arrested five persons running an online blog site, which ran smear campaigns and prepared a hit list of prominent personalities in Kashmir.