2012 saw courts doubting its power under anti-terror law


Year 2012 saw the trial courts dealing with several terror cases including those of the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem coordinator Abu Jundal and terror strike on an Israeli diplomat here, while also grappling with an intricate legal question on their powers under the anti-terror law.

As the Delhi Police went about catching many wanted terrorists involved in strikes across India, the year saw a motorcycle-borne terror module sticking an explosive on an Israeli diplomat's car and blowing it up a few hundred yards away from the Prime Minister's official residence, 7, RCR on February 13.

The terror attack led to the arrest of Indian journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi in March for his alleged role in the blast with the prosecution booking him on charges of various offences under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Explosive Substances Act and the court denying him bail twice.

As a magisterial court, while denying him bail, also extended the probe period in the case, Kazmi moved a sessions court challenging extension of the probe period in the case beyond 90 days.

While adjudicating Kazmi's plea, the sessions court put "a big question mark" on the magisterial court's power to extend his remand under the UAPA and questioned police for continuing to produce Kazmi and others booked under the UAPA before the magisterial courts for extension of their remands.

The intricate legal point did not remain restricted to Kazmi's case alone and was raised by five Pune blast accused to contest Mumbai ATS plea for their custody.

Besides the arrest of Jundal on June 21, the Special Cellof Delhi Police alsoarrested Fasih Mehmood, the alleged "key facilitator" in various terror attacks across the country and deported from Saudi Arabia amid controversy over his whereabouts with his wife Nikhat Parveen approaching the Supreme Court claiming her husband was in the custody of Indian security agencies, a charge denied by the Government. Following arrests of Jundal, Fasih, the Pune blast accused and other Indian Mujahideen operatives, the Delhi court saw various agencies like Mumbai ATS, Mumbai CID, National Investigation Agency, Gujarat ATS etc. making a beeline before it to secure their custody in a string of terror cases lodged in various states.

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