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Antilia bomb scare: HC verdict in NIA’s appeal against accused Naresh Gaur’s bail on Tuesday

🔴 The central agency had approached the division bench of the HC barely a day after a single-judge bench of the High Court set aside a special NIA court order staying for 25 days the bail it had granted to Gaur.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 17, 2021 3:44:52 pm
Naresh Gaur was arrested in March for his alleged involvement in the procurement of SIM cards used by the other accused in the conspiracy. (File)

The Bombay High Court on Friday concluded hearing and reserved its verdict in the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) appeal against bail granted to Naresh Gaur, an accused in the Antilia bomb scare case.

The central agency had approached the division bench of the HC barely a day after a single-judge bench of the High Court set aside a special NIA court order staying for 25 days the bail it had granted to Gaur.

Gaur was arrested in March, this year, for his alleged involvement in the procurement of SIM cards used by the other accused in the conspiracy.

On December 10, Gaur’s counsel gave a statement to a division bench of Justices Nitin M Jamdar and Sarang V Kotwal, which was hearing NIA’s appeal, that he will not act on the bail order till the appeal is heard and decided.

On Wednesday, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh for NIA submitted that Gaur had illegally obtained 14 SIM cards and benami cards cannot be used for official purpose. Therefore Gaur was in know of the illegality.

“This is case of not only terror but murder. It is a heinous crime which is committed. There is no question of granting bail. The NIA court has not considered this angle. The judge has only considered role of the accused and the SIM card procurement. Gaur went for procurement after discussion with owner and dismissed police officer Sachin Waze, and then SIM card was handed over to another accused and it was destroyed thereafter, therefore Gaur cannot be released on bail,” Singh argued.

He added that the special court order was wrong, unjustified and did not consider the material on record and same should be set aside.

However, Senior Advocate Shirish Gupte and advocate Aniket Nikam for Gaur submitted that the special judge had rightly applied his mind based on material on record before him including the chargesheet. “There is nothing to show the intention of accused and no material was produced by NIA to establish that any of the conspirators had contacted Gaur for the SIM cards and the chargesheet is also silent on the said aspect of the case, Gupte argued.

He added that it was mere master-servant relation between Gaur and the owner, who asked him to procure those cards. Therefore there is nothing to show that his client was involved in conspiracy.

On Thursday, Advocate Sandesh Patil for NIA also submitted call record in connection to Naresh Gaur, the SIM which was purportedly used by retired police official Pradeep Sharma, stating that same was part of the chargesheet and therefore Gaur’s intention is proved in the case.

Gupte said that while the NIA is claiming that Gaur voluntarily went to procure the SIM cards, there was nothing to show that he knew about the reasons for such a procurement and he was mere ‘courier’ who was instructed by the owner.

There are no criminal antecedents against the accused and there is no possibility of him absconding if granted bail, Gupte said and sought dismissal of NIA’s appeal.

After hearing submissions, the bench concluded the same and said that it will pass its verdict on December 22.

The special court had on November 20 granted bail to Gaur, who was the first among the 10 people arrested in the case to be given relief. The court had, however, said that Gaur will not be released immediately as it stayed its own order after the NIA said it wanted to approach the HC against the granting of the bail.

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