The NIA court on Wednesday dismissed interim bail pleas of Srinagar businessman Zahoor Watali and Hurriyat Conference leader Naeem Khan, booked in a case of alleged terror financing and creating unrest in the valley, among other charges. Both had sought bail on medical grounds. Regarding Watali’s plea, the court said there is a “likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice”, and that he “does not deserve to be admitted in the interim bail plea”. The NIA public prosecutors had opposed both bail pleas. Watali, 65, and Khan have been booked under various Sections of the UAPA. Eight others have been arrested and are in judicial custody.
Watali’s counsel submitted in court that he suffers from diabetes, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure and disc prolapse, among other ailments. Watali was admitted at LNJP Hospital and was “prematurely discharged”. He submitted that Watali was “bleeding through rectum”, and there is an “impending danger” to his health.
NIA special public prosecutor Sidharth Luthra submitted that granting him bail will obstruct the investigation. He submitted that the defence “failed to produce the medical history” of Watali’s ailments and no ground is made out on “urgency” on the medical condition which justifies “consideration of the application”.
District and Sessions Judge Poonam A Bamba said, “Considering the facts, gravity of the offences and nature of material on record, and the fact that investigation is under way, there is a likelihood of the applicant fleeing from justice, tampering with evidence, influencing the witness… it cannot be ruled out… bail would not be in the interest of justice.”
Naeem Khan’s counsel submitted that his condition is serious, as he suffers from viral fever with low blood platelet count, which was “20,000” early October. The counsel also submitted that currently Khan suffers from “severe thrombocyclopenia” — a medical condition with low level of thrombocytes or platelets — and has liver cysts. Defence counsel Ravi Qazi said that he was admitted to DDU Hospital and that keeping him in jail will amount to “violation of fundamental right”. The prosecution opposed the bail plea citing the ongoing probe.