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HC dismisses accused's plea against supplementary chargesheet in terror-funding case

twitter-logoPTI | May 28, 2019 | Updated 18:23 IST

New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea moved by a UAE-based businessman challenging a supplementary chargesheet filed against him by the NIA in a terror-funding case. A bench of justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said it was of the considered view that the trial court's order taking cognisance of the supplementary chargesheet was "within the realm of law and does not warrant any interference". The high court dismissed the appeal of businessman Naval Kishore Kapoor, who is lodged in Tihar Jail since last year after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested him in the terror-funding case. The bench said the argument of Kapoor's counsel that the trial court had erroneously and wrongly taken cognisance against him as no fresh material was produced by the investigating agency in the supplementary chargesheet, implicating him in the alleged conspiracy, was without force. It said, "...there is sufficient material available on record, which prima facie points towards the involvement of the appellant (Kapoor) that he, along with accused no. 10 (Zahood Ahmad Shah Watali), aided and abetted the flow of funds from fake and bogus companies floated in the UAE and channelised the same to the secessionists and separatists in Kashmir Valley." The bench added that the NIA, on the basis of new material collected, was able to unearth a fresh cause of action against Kapoor and thus, had filed the supplementary chargesheet against him. The NIA had earlier filed a chargesheet against various accused, including Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, in the case, accusing them of "conspiring to wage war against the government" and fomenting trouble in the Kashmir valley. The agency has charged Pakistan-based terrorists Hafiz Saeed and Salahuddin, besides 10 others, with criminal conspiracy, sedition and under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The agency has charged the Hurriyat leaders with acting under the overall guidance of and instructions from Saeed, Salahuddin and their "Pakistani handlers". They have been accused of plotting strategies to launch violent protests. In January, the NIA filed a supplementary chargesheet in a court here against Kapoor for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and under sections 17 (punishment for raising funds for terrorist act) and 21 (punishment for holding proceeds of terrorism) of the UAPA. Kapoor challenged the trial court's January 22 order by which cognisance was taken on the supplementary chargesheet against him. He said he was named as a public witness in the main chargesheet filed by the NIA on January 18, 2018 and he had been joining the investigation as and when called. He alleged that the trial court had failed to take note that no fresh material for submission of a supplementary chargesheet was filed by the agency. On July 26, 2018, Kapoor was arrested without being served with an arrest order or without being communicated the reasons and grounds of his arrest, he had contended. The NIA's counsel had argued that the appeal was filed by the accused with an ulterior motive to delay the proceedings before the trial court and there was no bar on the investigating agency from filing a supplementary chargesheet against an accused on unearthing a fresh cause of action against him. The counsel had contended that Kapoor, in connivance with his business partner and accused Watali, had actively participated in the alleged offence. The high court, in its order, said any observation made was only for the purpose of deciding the grounds urged before it in the plea and would not be treated as an expression on the merits of the matter before the trial court. PTI SKV HMP RC

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