Jammu & Kashmir

Waheed Parra Incarceration: HC reserves order on appeal challenging NIA courts’ bail denial

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Waheed Parra looks through a window glass as armed forces perosnnel stands outside the building. [File Photo]

Srinagar: The Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, on Saturday, heard at length the appeal filed against the rejection of the Bail application of Waheed ur Rehman Parra, PDP member and close aide of Mehbooba Mufti.

In 2021, a special NIA court rejected Parra’s bail application twice, terming the charges against him: “grave, serious and heinous in nature.”

PDP member, who is facing militancy charges, moved to the High Court of J&K and Ladakh after his 2nd bail application was rejected by a special NIA court.

Section 21 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, provides for appeals against any order (not interlocutory ) of the Special Court granting or refusing the bail.

Subsection 2 mandates such appeals to be heard by a Bench of two Judges of the High Court.

The Act provides that these appeals “shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within a period of three months from the date of admission of the appeal.”

The appeal, under this section, is to be filed within a period of 30 days.

Waheed Parra approached High Court more than two months after his bail was denied, resulting in a delay of 33 days. However, the court allowed the application seeking condonation of delay after considering the submissions made by Parra’s counsel.

In February this year, when the court was functioning virtually in wake of the COVID lockdown, Parra’s counsel sought the attention of the court towards Parra’s “deteriorating health conditions.” He submitted: “… no treatment is made available to the undertrial.” Though this was instantly disputed by the counsel appearing for the state.

The court registering the urgency put forth by the Parra’s counsel listed the matter immediately after 4 days.

In a subsequent hearing, the court ordered the counsels to appear physically and also directed UT authorities to file a health status report of Parra before the registry.

Owing to different factors, including paucity of time, the final arguments, did not start until Chief Justice Pankaj Mital constituted a special division bench. The bench comprised of Justice Sanjeev Kumar and Justice Vinod Chatterji began hearing the matter in April.

The newly constituted bench heard the matter partly on 27th April and 13th May. The arguments were concluded on 20th May and the matter was reserved for orders.

The matter has come up before High Court 14 times since its institution in September 2021.

 

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