New Delhi, Apr 2: The Supreme Court Tuesday
The bail was granted by the Delhi High Court to Watali arrested by NIA for his alleged role in a militant-funding case involving Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.
“Ample material has been collected to show the linkages between the Hurriyat leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir and militants/militant organizations and their continuous activities to wage war against Government of India,” said a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi.
The judgment assumes significance in the light of the government’s recent crackdown on separatist outfits based in the state.
The apex court’s verdict came on an appeal filed by the NIA against the high court’s September 13, 2018 judgment granting bail to Watali.
Cancelling the relief granted to Watali, the bench said the high court “adopted an inappropriate approach” while considering his bail plea by discarding all the material and evidence placed on record before it by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The apex court said the high court ought to have taken into account the entire material on record as it is and form an opinion on the basis of it, instead of weighing the evidence.
“The elaborate examination or dissection of the evidence is not required to be done at this stage (of grant of bail). The court is merely expected to record a finding on the basis of broad probabilities regarding the involvement of the accused in the commission of the stated
“From the analysis of the impugned judgment (of the high court), it appears to us that the high court has ventured into an area of examining the merits and demerits of the evidence,” the bench said.
It said that after
“In our opinion, taking into account the totality of the report made under section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the accompanying documents and the
The bench said the high court, “ought to have taken into account the totality of the materials/
The apex court said it agreed with the June 8, 2018 decision of the special NIA court which had declined to grant bail to Watali.
“Accordingly, this appeal succeeds. The impugned judgment and order (of the high court)
NIA in its appeal had contended that the high court had virtually conducted a
Watali was arrested on August 17 last year by the NIA.
Watali, Hafiz Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin
In its charge sheet, the NIA has alleged that Watali received money from accused Syed, ISI of Pakistan, the Pakistan High Commission here and from a source in Dubai.