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Jammu and Kashmir HC notice to PDP youth leader Parra to ‘decide NIA appeal’ against bail

The arrest, incidentally, came three days after Parra filed nomination papers from Pulwama for the DDC elections in the UT.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
January 29, 2021 1:24:41 am
PDP youth wing leader Waheed Parra

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday issued notice to PDP youth leader and elected member of Pulwama District Development Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, in an appeal filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging his bail by the special NIA court in a case of alleged terror funding.

Quoting the NIA counsel that the bail order stands implemented and that the accused has been lodged in another “criminal case’’, a division bench of HC comprising Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Puneet Gupta observed that “for deciding this appeal, we feel necessary to issue notice to the other side’’.

The notice was received by advocate J A Hamal, assisting counsel with senior advocate P N Raina.

The bench directed the court registry to list the case on February 17. “Grant of bail by trial court, subject matter of this appeal or pendency of the appeal shall not form any impediment for the investigating agency to complete the investigation,’’ it observed.

Parra, considered instrumental in revival of the PDP in south Kashmir, was arrested by the NIA on November 25 last year following a disclosure statement by Hizbul Mujahideen militant Naveed Baba, who was arrested along with then J&K Police Deputy SP Davinder Singh on January 11, 2020.

The arrest, incidentally, came three days after Parra filed nomination papers from Pulwama for the DDC elections in the UT.

Nearly a month-and-a-half after his arrest, Parra was granted bail early this month against a personal bond and a surety of Rs 1 lakh each by Special Judge Sunit Gupta. The court observed that offences, particularly those under the Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), “are not prima facie made out against the applicant/accused”.

Highlighting loopholes in the NIA’s case, including non-mention of any reference of Parra in its original or the supplementary chargesheet, the judge questioned the basis of his arrest on the “so-called disclosure statement” of militant Syed Naveed Mushtaq Shah, alias Naveed Baba. The court noted that its “legal value” was “seriously hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act”, which says that such confessional statement can only be recorded under Section 164 CrPC by a magistrate. Not one protected witness named Parra, the judge said.

In its appeal before HC, the NIA said Parra was arrested as part of investigations in a terror case in which Devender Singh, then posted in the anti-hijacking unit at Srinagar airport, was arrested, along with Hizbul Mujahideen militants Naveed Baba and Rafi Ahmed Rather – and one Irfan Safi Mir. Pointing out that the agency filed its first chargesheet, and then a supplementary chargesheet, after investigations were completed, NIA submitted that Parra, during his first police remand, was “completely non-cooperative”.

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