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HC rejects ISIS recruit’s appeal against denial of bail

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The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by alleged ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed challenging a special NIA court order that had denied him bail in May last year.

ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed-AV

“We find no merits in the appeal and the application seeking bail. Hence both stand dismissed,” a division bench of justices R V More and S C Gupte said.

Majeed approached the high court after a special NIA court rejected his bail application. He sought bail as a matter of right under the Criminal Procedure Code, considering that he has been in custody since November 2014 and as the investigating authorities have already filed a chargesheet in the case.

In the plea filed through his counsel Mubin Solkar, Majeed argued that his custody, which was extended by an order of the sessions court on February 25 last year, was erroneous and illegal since his case is being handled by NIA, and as per law, all proceedings of the case, including orders for extension of his custody, must be passed by a special NIA court only.

The NIA opposed Majeed’s bail plea as well as the appeal, saying that he should have raised questions over the sessions court’s jurisdiction at the time when his custody was being extended.

The National Investigation Agency defended its decision to get Majeed’s custody extended by the sessions court, saying the NIA court was unavailable on February 25, 2015 and thus, it approached the special MCOCA sessions court.

According to NIA, Majeed, a student of a college in Panvel, had decided to join extremist outfit ISIS along with three other friends in May 2014.

It is alleged that Majeed and his friends went on a pilgrimage for eight days, after which they parted ways to participate in unlawful activities in Iraq and Syria.

In November 2014, Majeed was flown from Istanbul to India under the supervision of NIA.

Majeed is currently lodged at the Arthur road prison and has been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), for conspiring to commit a terrorist act and being a member of a banned foreign terror outfit. He has also been booked under IPC for waging war against the nation.

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