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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

‘Prima facie’ militancy charges against Parra seem to be ‘true at this stage’: NIA court

The bail application of PDP leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, a close aide of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, has been rejected for the second time in five months by a special court which said “prima facie” militancy charges leveled against the accused seem to be “true at this stage”.

The 24-page bail order passed by the special NIA court, however, rejected the contention of the prosecution that a fresh bail application should not have been entertained by the court as no fresh development has taken place since the last rejection in February.

While rejecting Parra’s bail application, the special judge said the contention raised by the defense counsel “herein cannot be considered at this stage and the good grounds do not exist at this stage which would warrant the release of the accused herein on bail in view of the given facts and circumstances governing the matter in hand”.

“… And at present, I am satisfied in view of the material placed on the record that the alleged offenses leveled against the accused/applicant (Parra) herein appears to be prima facie true at this stage,” the order said.

The order rejecting the bail was given earlier this month but it was made available on Monday.

Parra’s counsel Shariq Reyaz had urged for cancellation of the FIR under which the PDP leader had been arrested and contended that the same case was being probed by the National Investigation Agency, therefore rendering the probe by police as “void ab-initio and non-est” (having no legal validity from the beginning) in law.

The council said the material relief by the police against Parra was the sum and substance of the NIA charge sheet filed in a Jammu court from where he has already been granted bail.

The counsel contended before the court that Parra comes from a respectful family with a clean track record and being a political figure of eminence having deep roots in the soil will not jump the bail or fleeing from justice, in case the court grants it.

The defence counsel stressed the fact that his client was a political worker and a member of a regional political party –PDP — who was duty-bound to interact with the general public. Listening to “the grievances of the public is the job of politicians irrespective of the fact whether the interacting person is a good citizen or a criminal or whatsoever. The interaction of the politician with party members or voters does not amount to any offense”, he contended.

Countering the argument of defense counsel, the prosecutor pointed out that there have been statements recorded of some of the witnesses during the course of the investigation conducted so far that has brought out a “startling revelation of the tapestry of direct and willful quid-pro-quo between the accused and active militants”.

The prosecutor again highlighted that Parra “had contacts across the border, suspected to be his associates and handlers in Pakistan as well with anti-national elements which includes secessionists/terrorists as well as in the UK and other parts of the world.

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