SC refuses to interfere with bail granted to alleged IS member

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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging a Bombay High Court order, which upheld bail to an alleged member of IS, Areeb Ejaz Majeed, on February 23 this year. Majeed was arrested on November 29, 2014, by the Mumbai ATS. Later, the case was handed over to the NIA.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing NIA, submitted before a bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and A.S. Bopanna that Majeed was a terrorist who went to Syria, and he initially went to Iraq in May 2014 on a pilgrimage visa but left for Syria to join IS.

Raju added that Majeed came back to the country to carry out blasts at police headquarters and he was also allegedly trying to recruit Indians as well as non-residents to join the terrorist organization for carrying out activities.

Raju further argued that it was a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

However, the top court declined to entertain the special leave petition by the central agency. The bench noted that the accused had been in prison for more than five years and the trial court had put stringent conditions on his bail. The trial court had passed the order to release him on bail on March 17, 2020. Advocate Farrukh Rasheed appeared for Majeed on caveat.

The agency also alleged that the accused had come back to India with a motive to carry out a ‘lone wolf attack’ kind of operation. Raju added that decent behavior can’t be a ground for bail to him by the trial court.

According to the NIA, he was trained in the handling of weapons and firearms and also allegedly actively involved in terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria. The agency relied upon alleged social media posts of co-accused to allege that Majeed had returned to India for terrorist activities.

After hearing the arguments, the top court noted that it will not interfere with the high court’s order which upheld the trial court’s order.

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