NIA Court orders attachment of Hurriyat office in Srinagar

Hurriyat Conference (G)

SRINAGAR — A special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has ordered the attachment of the office of All Parties Hurriyat Conference situated at Rajbagh area in the summer capital Srinagar, officials said.

According to Srinagar-based news agency KDC, an order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge New Delhi Shalinder Malik has directed that “immovable property i.e., building office of All Parties Hurriyat Conference at Rajbagh which was earlier used as the office of APHC is ordered to be attached. Necessary legal process be carried out in this regard.”

The order passed by an NIA court was under the ‘NIA vs Mohammad Hafiz Saeed and others’ pursuant to the orders of MHA dated 30.05.2017 against Hafiz Syed. In its application, the NIA claimed that there is sufficient evidence against Naeem Khan – the accused Hurriyat leader – who “partly owns the property”.

NIA has submitted in the court that the “property was being used for planning and execution of terrorist and secessionist activities and for other offenses and thus invoked the provisions of Section 33 (1) of UAPA to seek attachment of the property.”

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In this case, Nayeem Ahmad Khan was arrested during the investigation of the case on 24.07.2017 and was arraigned as accused number 5. A charge sheet was filed against 12 accused persons so far in this case.

The NIA stated there is sufficient evidence in the form of documentary, electronic and oral to substantiate the charges framed against the accused Naeem Khan, and it is prayed that the above-said building was being used by members of APHC for unlawful activities by A-5.

They further stated that “accused Nayeem Khan is a co-owner of that property and facing prosecution. There is evidence that above mentioned immovable property was being used for the planning and execution of terrorist and secessionist activities and for offences for which the accused has already been charged, therefore above said property i.e. building/office of APHC situated at Rajbagh Srinagar (UT of J&K) may be attached u/s 33(1) of UA(P) Act.”

Citing several judgments, the court of Additional Sessions Judge New Delhi noted that section 24 expands the expression of the “proceeds of terrorism” and makes it clear that such expression shall also include “any property intended to be used for terrorism.”

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“APHC was the place where meetings were held to strategize different protests, funding activities of stone pelting on security forces, recruiting unemployed youths to carry out unlawfül activities as well as terrorist activities to create an unrest in the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir to wage war against the Government of India,” were the major points that were noted by the Delhi court.

Sidharth Luthra, senior advocate appearing for NIA, submitted that Section 33 is an independent provision that empowers the court to pass an order attachment of all or any property belonging to the accused facing the trial of offences falling under Chapter IV and VI of the Act.

The court said, “Section 33 of the Act at least does not in any manner hinder powers of the court to attach any such property of which accused is facing trial under Chapter IV and VI of the Act of which he may be partly-owner, thus ordered the attachment of the office of All Parties Hurriyat Conference situated at Rajbagh, Srinagar.”

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