Kashmir HC constitutes committee to look into the legality of the application of NIA Act to J&K

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association here on Friday said that it has constituted a legal team to examine the constitutional validity of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008 and its application to the state and suggest ways and means for providing necessary legal aid to all those who have been booked in FIR No. RC-10/2017/NIA/DIL by NIA and after their arrest have been taken to Delhi and got remanded to police custody there.

The 12-member team included senior advocates Z. A. Shah, Z. A. Qureshi, Bashir Ahmad Bashir, R. A. Jan, Altaf Haqani, Mushtaq Ahmad Makhdoomi, Syed Manzoor, G. A. Lone, Arshad Andrabi, Nazir Ahmad Ronga, Reyaz Khawar and Mohammad Shafi Reshi.

Bashir Sidiq, General Secretary of the Association, said in a statement here on July 28, “Since the issue has far-reaching consequences, therefore, the team has been advised to hold its sitting immediately and finalize the filing of an appropriate petition before the High Court, as expeditiously as possible.”

NIA on July 24 had arrested here seven separatist leaders including Altaf Ahmad Shah Funtoosh (son-in-law of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani), Ayaz Akbar, spokesperson of the amalgam and Shahid-ul-Islam, close aide of Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Peer Saifullah, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate and Mehrajuddin Kalwal in connection with the NIA case filed vide No. RC-10/2017/NIA/DLI (J&K Terror Funding Case) under Sections 120B, 121, 121A of IPC and Sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39, 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. While six of them were arrested from Srinagar and later flown to New Delhi, Bitta Karate was held in New Delhi. All of them were sent to 10-day NIA custody.

Later, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) chairman and senior separatist Shabir Ahmad Shah was also arrested by Enforcement Directorate officials here on 25 July and later flown to Delhi where he was sent to seven-day Enforcement Directorate custody. This is for the first time since the eruption of militancy in Kashmir in early nineties that a central probe agency has carried out raids and formal arrests in the state in connection with alleged funding of separatist leaders.

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