Plea Seeking Directions To Special NIA Courts To Exclusively Deal With NIA Investigated Offences: Delhi High Court Issues Notice

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 07:09 PM, 30 Jul 2021

The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued a notice in a plea seeking directions to the Union to ensure/ notify Special Courts under section 11 of the NIA Act in Delhi to exclusively deal with NIA investigated offenses to expedite the trials besides day to day hearing. 

Single Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta in her order said, 

Notice be now issued to respondent No.2 through the learned Standing Counsel (Crl.), GNCT Delhi and to respondent No.4 through the Registrar General, High Court of Delhi, on the petitioner taken steps through e-email, dasti, courier and speed post. Reply affidavit be filed within three weeks. Rejoinder affidavit in two weeks thereafter.

During the course of the hearing, notice was accepted by the Counsels appearing for the Union of India, through Jt. Secretary, Internal Security Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, and National Investigation Agency.

The plea was by Manzer Imam who is facing trial under UAPA and is aggrieved by the delay in the trial for the reason only two Courts in Delhi have been notified as designated Courts for the trials under the UAPA thereby resulting in a delay in the trial and filed through Advocate(s) Kartik Murukutla & Abu Bakr Sabbaq. 

The petitioner was an accused in FIR registered u/s 17, 18, 18B, 20 UAPA & 121A & 123 IPC. He was arrested on August 29, 2013, and a 1st Supplementary Charge Sheet was filed against him on February 20, 2014, u/s 18, 38(2) & 39(2) UAPA.

The District and Sessions Judge took cognizance of these offences against the accused on February 24, 2014, and irrespective of being in custody for almost eight years the charges have not been framed. 

The plea also sought directions to the Special Court to conclude his trial on a day-to-day basis. 

It was argued that contrary to the intention and spirit and mandated provisions of the law in the NIA Act, the NIA cases in New Delhi were not being heard in a speedy manner as the so-called Special Courts were in fact regular courts with a heavy workload. 

The two NIA Special Courts in New Delhi are Shri Dinesh Kumar Sharma, Ld. District & Sessions Judge, Patiala House and Shri Parveen Singh, Ld. ASJ-03, Patiala House. Both courts have a heavy workload and hear a number of non-NIA cases including bail matters, other IPC offenses, and MCOCA matters – at trial and pre-trial stage. As a consequence, the cases of the accused persons, including the Petitioners, are languishing for years on end,” the plea stated.

The matter will now be heard on September 15, 2021. 

Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave with Advocate(s) Kartik Murukutla, Abu Bakr Sabbaq, Jemtiben, Saumya Gautam, Vidhi Thaker, Arushi Singh, Aditya Vaibhav Singh, Advs represented the petitioner in Delhi High Court.

Case Title: Manzer Imam versus UOI & Ors