ANI Photo | Indian Mujahideen suspect in jail for 9 yrs moves court seeking bail on grounds of prolonged trial

An Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspect has moved to Patiala House Court seeking bail on the grounds of double jeopardy and a prolonged trial of the case against him.
Mohd Maroof has been in jail since March 2014 and also facing another case in Jaipur. This case also involves Riyaz Bhatkal, co-founder of the banned organisation, Indian Mujahideen.
The bail plea will be heard by Additional Sessions Judge Dr Hardeep Kaur in the coming week.
Advocate MS Khan has moved the application on behalf of Mohd Maroof seeking bail on grounds of a prolonged trial.
The application has stated that the accused has been in custody since March 23, 2024, which has now extended over to a period of over 9 years and there is no likelihood of completion of the trial in the near future, and in view of the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in KA Najeeb case that the rigours contained in section 43D (5) no longer remain as rigorous as they were in the initial stage of trial and the ratio contained in Shaheen Welfare Association specifies the period to be taken into consideration for the grant of bail.
It is further submitted that the following judgments also contain the ratio that long incarceration and inordinate delay itself is a ground for the grant of bail to the accused despite the rigours of Section 43(D) UAPA.
It is alleged that on March 22, 2014, accused Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas was apprehended from Ajmer railway station, he had disclosed the names of three individuals namely, Maroof, Waqar and Saquib, as the persons to whom he along with Tehsin Akhtar had imparted training in the fabrication of IED’s and these persons had also harboured him and Tehsin Akhtar.
On this information, a team of special cells went to Jaipur and apprehended Mohd. Maroof on March 23 that year.
He has been accused of being a member of Indian Mujahideen and was connected to Riyaz Bhatkal through the internet over his laptop.
It is also alleged that he had Jihadi materials in his Pen drive, etc., which were used to invite youngsters for joining jihad and to become members of IM.
Delhi police also alleged that Tehsin Akhtar and Zia-Ur-Rehman had stayed in Jaipur and Jodhpur with him (Harbored). Tehsin and Waqas had imparted training for the preparation of IEDs to him.
He got recovered a laptop, pen drives, mobile phones, data card, jihadi books etc., from his house, the plea stated.
It is the further case of the prosecution that, two more accused persons namely, Waqar Azhar (from Jaipur) and Saquib Ansari (from Jodhpur) were arrested and explosive materials beside certain electronic items were recovered from both of them.
On the basis of the aforesaid accusations, the 5th Supplementary chargesheet was filed on August 7, 2014, specifying the role of Mohd Maroof.
The bail plea mentioned that, in respect of the recoveries of explosives, a separate FIR was registered on the complaint of Inspector Lalit Mohan an FIR under sections 4 and 5 Explosive Substance Act and 3/10/13/16/18/20 UAPA read with Sec 120 B was registered at PS- SOG Jaipur in 2014.
It is also mentioned that the charge sheet in respect of FIR of PS- SOG, Jaipur contains evidence in the form of material extracted from the electronic devices allegedly recovered in the present case.
It is also submitted that both the matters stand on similar facts and constitute the same offence, even otherwise, as observed by the High Court of Judicature of Rajasthan, “admittedly, the explosives were not recovered from the conscious possession of the accused. No information under Section 27 of the Evidence Act was obtained from the applications. It is not established that the house from where the explosives were recovered was actually taken on rent by the present applicants and that they were in possession of the same, the applicants have remained in custody for a period of more than nine years and two months.
The case of the applicant is akin to that of co-accused, whose application for suspension of sentence has been allowed by this Court and there is no evidence on record that accused has actively participated in any terror attack in the country.”
Since the matter relating to the explosive substances was the subject matter of adjudication in the courts at Jaipur, and in view of the fact that the digital material extracted in this case to prove the existence of conspiracy; the factum of imparting and undergoing training as well as harbouring has already been considered in Jaipur the trial of the accused in the present case is barred Under section 300 of CrPC being continued on the same facts and constituting the same offence, the plea said

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