Bombay High Court on Tuesday, 23 February, upheld the bail granted to Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed, accused of ISIS links, by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in March 2020. The order was upheld on grounds of 'long pendency of trial’, setting aside its findings on the merits of the case.
Majeed will be released on bail pending trial with stringent conditions on furnishing personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh and sureties. He will not be permitted to leave Kalyan and will have to report to nearest police station two times a day for two months.
After Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who was representing the NIA, requested a stay on the order, the court rejected the plea stating that “this is a question of liberty and that the detention of the accused for this long worked in his favour."
Majeed had spent over six years in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, The Indian Express reported.
On 4 February, s division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Manish Pitale had reserved the order on NIA’s appeal against the special court’s bail order after conducting a hearing for over three hours.
The HC in its 38-page ruling said, "He comes from educated family and if stringent conditions are imposed upon him, with undertaking to cooperate with trial, his release on bail may not be harmful to society at large and it would not adversely affect trial proceedings before NIA Court."
The order further noted that while Majeed has been charged under provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and is accused of having the intention to partake in terrorist activities in India, “no death was caused by the alleged plans hatched by the respondent since he was arrested the moment he landed in India,” PTI reported.
Majeed was part of a group of pilgrims who travelled to Iraq. The NIA had claimed that they had separated from the tour group, joined the Islamic State, and carried out terrorist activities.
Following this, Majeed was arrested under provisions of the UAPA and the Indian Penal Code for allegedly waging a war against the nation and other charges as soon as he returned to India on 28 November 2014, PTI reported.
(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)