A man accused of swearing allegiance to the outlawed terrorist group Islamic State and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been granted bail by the Bombay High Court through A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and VG Bisht in the case of Mohammad Raisuddin v The National Investigating Agency and anr (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 393 OF 2019 )
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The appellant sought bail on the basis of the merits, on the basis of parity, and on the basis of the trial’s delayed start. Regarding the merits, the appellant’s knowledgeable lawyer argued that there is simply no convincing, valid, or admissible evidence linking him to the accused crime. He argued that reading the statements of the four witnesses, on whom the prosecution relies, would only show that the accused, including the appellant, and the witnesses would discuss threats to Islam, ISIS’s actions, as well as other issues like the beef ban, racial unrest, injustice toward Muslims in Palestine, etc.
Advocate Mubin Solkar represented Raisuddin. The Oath, the contents of which are freely accessible online, was initially delivered to the State Examiner of Documents in Aurangabad, according to Solkar, but they were unable to locate an expert in Arabic or Urdu to compare it with the accused’s handwriting samples.
Raisuddin and three other people were accused by the NIA of plotting an attack on the Aurangabad Unit of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). They were detained in 2016 and charged under multiple conspiracy-related sections of the IPC and the UAPA. The agency also claimed that one of Raisuddin’s fellow defendants had contact with Islamic State fighters and another had acquired an IED. He is charged with conspiring since a co-home accused’s also included an oath of allegiance.
Special Public Prosecutor Mrs. Pai vigorously opposed the appeal. She argued that there is no reason to disagree with the contested judgement rejecting the appellant’s bail request and that the allegations against the appellant are at least initially serious. She also claimed that the trial’s delayed start was not a reason to increase the appellant’s bail.
Mohammed Raisuddin was granted bail by a divisional bench comprising Justices Revati Mohite Dere and VG Bisht who noted that different lab results had linked the accused’s handwriting to a “oath” document. Furthermore, the opinion in favour of the accused was withheld by NIA for more than two years.
Even if it weren’t, the court ruled that the oath designating a former IS leader as the “caliph” of Muslims wasn’t initially incriminating. The bench ruled that it was only the witnesses’ view that the accused were jihadists and fundamentalists since they frequently discussed the beef prohibition, the Dadri event, the Muzaffarpur incident, the Gujarat riots, and Islam.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY