Jammu & Kashmir

HC dismisses bail plea of Zahoor Watali in alleged militancy funding case

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A file photo of Zahoor Watali

New Delhi: A plea by a Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Shah Watali seeking bail was dismissed by Delhi High Court on Tuesday. Watali was arrested by the NIA in connection with an alleged militancy funding case.

Watali had approached the high court challenging a trial court’s order which had denied him bail in the case last year but had taken note of his medical condition that he was suffering from various ailments including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and piles, PTI reported.

Earlier this year, the trial court had directed Watali to be kept under house arrest at his Gurugram residence till further orders for his medical treatment.

On Tuesday, a bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal perused the status report filed by the authorities and noted that Watali was being regularly treated and receiving prescribed medicines and that his condition was stable and satisfactory.

“As on date, it cannot be said that the COVID situation was still prevalent. The life returning to normalcy would even apply to prisoners who are in custody,” the bench said, as per the news agency report.

While dismissing Watali’s appeal against the trial court order, the bench directed that he be put under house arrest in his Gurugram residence till further orders and that he will be allowed to be taken to hospitals or diagnostic centres for conducting any tests, if recommended.

The High court further said that in case he is admitted to a hospital, the venue of house arrest will be shifted from his residence to the hospital and during that period, he will be allowed to meet only his immediate family members and lawyer.

“Subsequent to the conditions mentioned in the order dated January 31, 2022, and the fact that the appellant was in custody in his own home, the appeal challenging the order dated 15 May 2021 declining bail to the appellant is rendered infructuous and is dismissed accordingly,” the news agency report said quoting the bench.

The NIA arrested Watali in August 2017 for his alleged links to a Jammu and Kashmir militancy financing case.


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