Kashmiri Separatist leader Nayeem Khan moves Delhi High Court against attachment of Hurriyat Office in Srinagar

SRINAGAR — Separatist leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the trial court order directing attachment of All Parties Hurriyat Conference’s (APHC) office in Srinagar earlier this year in a UAPA case against him, LiveLaw reported.

According to the report, The matter will be heard on July 06 as the division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, before which the case was listed today, did not assemble.

Khan, who has been in judicial custody since August 14, 2017, has been accused of “creating unrest” in the Kashmir valley by the National Investigation Agency. He was arrested on July 24, 2017. He was denied bail in December last year by trial court. His bail plea is now pending before High Court.

Khan has challenged the trial court order passed on January 27 after NIA moved an application under section 33(1) of UAPA to attach the office.

In his plea before the High Court, Khan has submitted that the NIA, in no way, has made out a case that would allege any misdoing in relation to the property in the past, present, or future.

“As per the prosecution’s case, the property is co-owned by several persons, only one of whom is an accused in the present case. No statements of the alleged co-owners has been recorded by the Prosecution or given a notice regarding seeking such attachment. Pertinently, the other co-owners of the property are not accused in the present case. The attachment qua the said persons ought not to have been effected at all, and certainly not without prior court notice,” Khan has said according to the report.

The plea adds that the trial court misconstrued the availability of its power under Section 33(1) of UAPA as necessitating the attachment of any property of Khan.

“…the impugned order violates the right of the Appellant under Article 21 by ordering attachment of a property partly owned by the Appellant without the said property having any linkage with the case at hand,” the plea states.

The case alleges that there was a larger criminal conspiracy for causing disruption in the Kashmir valley by way of “pelting stones on the security forces, systematically burning of schools, damage to public property and for waging war against India.”

The case has been registered under Sections 120B, 121, 121A and 124 A of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 39 and 40 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.

While denying him bail, the special NIA judge had noted that a detailed scrutiny of evidence and statements of various witnesses was done at the time of framing of charges and it was concluded that there is sufficient evidence available raising “grave suspicion” regarding Khan’s involvement.

NIA had registered the FIR on a complaint by Ministry of Home Affairs alleging that based on “secret information” received from an informant, it was learnt that Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and various separatist leaders including the members of the Hurriyat Conference were raising funds “through hawala” and also had entered into conspiracy to cause violence in Kashmir.

Taking note of the fact that charges have already been framed against Khan, the judge had said that the court cannot re-appreciate the evidence at the stage of bail.