Rashid Paul

HC quashes bail granted to Asiya Indrabi

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“The lower court has exercised its bail discretion in an erroneous manner”

Srinagar June 02: The High Court on Saturday quashed the bail order granted by a subordinate court in favor of separatist leader Asiya Indrabi and her associates.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice M K Hanjura while hearing an appeal by the government against the release of Indrabi, the chief of the Dukhtarai Millat (DeM), said the lower court has exercised its bail discretion in an erroneous manner.

Additional Sessions Judge Anantnag had granted the bail to DeM chairperson Asiya Andrabi and her associates including Nahida and Sofi Fehmeeda in an FIR 60/2018 carrying charges related to various offences punishable under Ranbir Penal Code alleging that objectionable material had been recovered from the women separatist leaders.

It claimed that the “objectionable” material was a threat to the security of the state.

The division bench while analyzing the police report said that the action of the trio would fall within the purview of Unlawful Activities Act.

“From further perusal of the report, it is also axiomatic that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against the trio are prima facie true”, it said.

Referring the provision contained in the Act, which is alleged by human rights bodies to have been grossly misused in Kashmir to contain the basic human rights and curb the political space of those challenging the relation of J&K with Indian state, the bench said the age old maxim that grant of bail is the rule and the refusal is an exception does not hold good in this case.

The court has to come to the conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accusations leveled against the accused persons are prima facie true, it added.

“In view of the sections of the Act and the material available in the police report, in our considered opinion, the trial court at Anantnag has exercised the discretion to grant the bail in an erroneous manner”.

It allowed the official appeal resulting into continued confinement of the women leaders.

The lawyers representing Indrabi and her associates challenged the police version terming it a concocted story without even a shred of truth in it.

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