Three days after the special court designated under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act rejected the central agency’s plea seeking further 69-day extension to file chargesheet in the Pune ISIS module case, it filed the chargesheet on Saturday, a copy of which is not made available yet.
On November 1, special judge AM Patil rejected a “premature” plea by one of the accused Simab N Kazi seeking default bail plea on the grounds of delay by NIA in filing the chargesheet.
The court noted that since the completion of the 90-day stipulated period was to expire on October 25, it had extended time to file chargesheet by 21 days on October 16. It was to expire on November 5.
On the same day, the special court rejected a second application by the agency seeking to extend time for filing chargesheet by 69 days, a detailed order of which was made available on Saturday.
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Sandeep Sadawarte for NIA referred to the special report to seek further time to complete the investigation, without which it was unable to file the chargesheet.
The NIA lawyer claimed that considering nature of criminal conspiracy related to ISIS and its active members “having repercussion on the integrity; sovereignty and security of India”, the agency be given sufficient time to unearth evidences against arrested persons. However, advocate Tahira Qureshi for the accused opposed NIA’s application arguing that the court in its earlier order had considered all these grounds. She argued that if the accused was a terrorist, why would he have applied to go to Turkey by following proper procedure and as travelling to Turkey is not prohibited by the government, the same cannot be incriminating against the accused, therefore the NIA’s plea did not require any consideration.
The special court, after perusing material on record, noted that the special report by the agency did not mention the progress of the probe in 21 days or what it found related to funds involved in the case. Court said sufficient time has been given by it to the agency for its investigation and it had already considered the grounds by the agency.
“It is expected from the NIA that they have to give details about the funds collected and sent abroad to the handlers of ISIS. There is no single whisper in this regard in the entire special report filed by learned SPP. Thus, the application is devoid of merit. Hence, the application is rejected,” the court had held.
Initially, an FIR was registered against the three suspects at Kothrud police station in Pune. Further probe revealed that the accused were allegedly involved in terror acts, besides the chemical powder recovered from their house was found to be an explosive material.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) then took over the investigation of the case on July 22 this year and invoked sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Later, the probe was handed over to the NIA. Six persons, including Kazi, have been arrested by NIA.