Rashid Paul

HC issues notice to J&K admin on Parra’s petition seeking quashing of FIR, charges against him

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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Union Territory administration on a petition by PDP youth leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, seeking quashing of FIR and subsequent framing of charges against him by a special court under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)  and Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul issued the notice, returnable after four weeks, after hearing senior counsel R A Jan on behalf of Parra.

It is pertinent that a special court has framed terror charges against Parra based on a police charge-sheet alleging that he was an “asset” for Pakistan-based militant groups and that his 13-year journey as a journalist and politician from 2007 was a “saga of subterfuge, deceit and double-dealing”.

In his plea, Parra has sought quashing of the FIR registered in December 2020 against him under different Sections of UAPA and those of IPC.

He also prayed for quashing of the charge-sheet and the ensuing framing of charges by the Court of Special Judge designated under NIA Act.

Parra submitted through his counsel that the FIR and subsequent charge-sheet suffer from “vice of being without jurisdiction.”

He pleaded that on the very same allegations and evidence an FIR (05/2020, re-registered as RC.0I/2020/ NIA/JMU and the supplementary charge-sheet dated 22.03.202) stands filed before the Special Judge designated under NIA Act at Jammu.

“In the face of the said FIR and the charge-sheet, a new FIR and charge-sheet on the same allegations and evidence as the previous charge-sheet invoking the same sections of law is impermissible in law,” reads his petition.

The petition further stated that the said order dated 20 July, 2021 by special court, framing charges against him “suffers from non-application of mind in as much as the trial court has not even prima facie discussed the import and applicability of the stringent sections of UAPA vis-a-vis the allegations and the evidence against him.

“The (trial court) in one cryptic paragraph framed charges under Sections 13, 17, 18, 38, 39, 40 of UAPA as well as Section 120, 121, 120-A and 124-A IPC,” it said.

Para’s counsel submitted before the court  that sanction for prosecution as contemplated under Section 45 of UAPA being important for launching prosecution under the UAPA, has not been accorded by the sanctioning authority.

“In the absence of any sanction as contemplated under the UAPA, the charge-sheet as well as the   Order dated   20.07.2021 framing charges against (me) is rendered without jurisdiction and bereft of any warrant, sanction or authority of law, violating with impunity the constitutional guarantees guaranteed to (me),” he added.

The CIK charge-sheet before the special court alleged that Parra was “hand in glove” with the militants.

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