Hurriyat Leader Nayeem Khan moves Delhi HC against attachment of APHC office in Srinagar; plea to be heard on July 6

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Hurriyat Leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan has been in judicial custody since August 14, 2017. He is accused of “creating unrest” in the Kashmir valley.

Hurriyat leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan moved the Delhi High Court on Friday last week challenging the trial court order directing the attachment of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) office in Srinagar in a UAPA case being investigated by the National Investigation Agency.

The matter was listed before a division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh. As the bench did not assemble on Friday, the matter will be heard on July 6.

Khan has challenged the trial court order dated January 27, 2022. His plea stated that the prosecution has in no way made a case that would allege any misdoing in relation to the property in the past, present, or future and that the principles of natural justice stand violated in the present case.

“As per the prosecution’s case, the property is co-owned by several persons, only one of whom is an accused in the present case. No statements of the alleged co-owners have been recorded by the Prosecution or given notice regarding seeking such attachment. Pertinently, the other co-owners of the property are not accused in the present case. The attachment qua the said persons ought not to have been effected at all, and certainly not without prior court notice”, the plea stated.

“The impugned order incorrectly notes that Section 33(1) UAPA gives specific and clear powers to Special Court for attachment of properties of accused facing trial under Chapters IV and V of the Act and there is no restriction or embargo fixed in exercising the power under said provision. It is respectfully submitted that the placement of the provision in Chapter V UAPA, as well as the title of the said chapter clearly indicates that the provisions grouped thereunder are for the attachment and forfeiture of either proceeds of terrorism, or property intended to be used for terrorism”, the plea added.

Furthermore, the plea stated that the impugned order violates the right of the Appellant under Article 21 by ordering the attachment of a property partly owned by the Appellant without the said property having any linkage with the case at hand.

It is to be noted, that Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Shailender Malik of the Patiala House Court in Delhi recently ordered the attachment of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) office in Srinagar in a UAPA case being investigated by the NIA against Khan.

“The immovable property i.e. building office of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) situated at Raj Bagh, Srinagar which was earlier used as an office of APHC is ordered to be attached. Necessary legal process be carried out in this regard”, the court had said.

The court had made the observation while hearing an application by NIA wherein it stated that the aforementioned property has been sought to be attached as it is partly owned by Khan along with his associates. In the application, NIA had stated that there is sufficient evidence in the form of documentary, electronic and oral to substantiate the charges framed against Khan and prayed that said the building was used by members of APHC for unlawful activities.

As per NIA, Khan was involved in a larger criminal conspiracy to cause disruption in the Kashmir valley by "pelting stones on security forces, systematically burning schools, causing damage to public property, and waging war against India."

Khan, who has been in judicial custody since August 14, 2017, has been accused of “creating unrest” in the Kashmir valley by the NIA. He was arrested on July 24, 2017. He has been registered under Sections 120B, 121, 121A, and 124A of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 39, and 40 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, of 1967.

Case Title: Nayeem Ahmad Khan v. NIA

Statue: The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, The Indian Penal Code, and The Code of Criminal Procedure