A Delhi Court has extended judicial custody of human rights activist Khurram Parvez and Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj in a 2020 UAPA case after the NIA sought more time to complete the investigation, Live Law reported.
Mehraj and Parvez are accused in the alleged NGO Terror funding case registered by NIA in October 2020.
On June 09, Principal District & Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg of Patiala House Court allowed NIA’s application seeking extension of detention of both Mehraj and Parvez in judicial custody and period of investigation. Though the NIA had prayed for extension beyond 90 days to 180 days, the court only granted it 45 more days.
“After giving my thoughtful consideration to the submissions made by the Ld. Counsel for both the parties, the PP Report and various judicial pronouncements, this Court is satisfied that extension of period of detention of the accused persons in judicial custody is required. The application is allowed and period of judicial remand of both the aforesaid accused persons namely Khurram Parvez and Irfan Mehraj is extended for 45 days i.e. up to 135 days,” the court said.
Mehraj, who was arrested on March 20 from Srinagar, was brought to Delhi after a local court granted his transit remand. He was then produced before Patiala House Courts on March 22. The same day, NIA also arrested Parvez, who was already in custody in another case, and they both were remanded to NIA custody for 10 days.
On their production on April 01, they were remanded to judicial custody up to April 28 which was later extended from time to time up to June 17. The period of 90 days of detention in judicial custody of Mehraj and Parvez and the period of investigation is going to be completed on June 18 and 20, respectively.
NIA told court that during their examination, statements of Mehraj and Parvez were recorded which allegedly revealed their association with the persons affiliated to terrorist outfits. The probe agency also alleged that both Parvez and Mehraj were “in contact of” more than 350 Pakistan-based tele selectors and several entities based in other countries through phone numbers, social applications and emails, investigation.
The investigation in this regard is ongoing and time is needed for its completion, said the central agency. “The facts surfaced so far during the investigation are required to be verified.
The voluminous data of seized digital devices connected to accused persons and other persons connected to JKCCS and voluminous documents need to be scrutinized properly, several persons are yet to be examined, the investigation has spread in several states and also having international ramifications,” the NIA said.
Both Mehraj and Parvez opposed NIA’s application seeking extension of probe and period of their detention in judicial custody. Mehraj had submitted that there was no ground in the application justifying the extension of period of detention up to 180 days.
He also said that the delay in probe clearly demonstrates that NIA has undertaken an exercise of fishing and roving enquiry against him with the sole motive to keep him in custody without any formal charges.