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Court seeks NIA reply to Engg Rashid’s bail plea

Engineer Rashid, a former Jammu and Kashmir MLA, winner of the Lok Sabha seat from Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir, has been in Tihar jail since August 2019. He was arrested in a 2016 terror funding case and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: June 7, 2024, 04:07 AM - 2 mins read

Engineer Rashid, a former Jammu and Kashmir MLA, winner of the Lok Sabha seat from Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir, has been in Tihar jail since August 2019. He was arrested in a 2016 terror funding case and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Court seeks NIA reply to Engg Rashid’s bail plea

In his plea presented to Additional Sessions Judge Chander Jit Singh on June 4, Engineer Rashid requested either interim bail or custody parole to assume his new parliamentary duties. The NIA, initially asked to respond by Thursday, requested additional time to file its reply.


A Delhi court has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respond by Friday to an application filed by Engineer Rashid, winner of the Lok Sabha elections from Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir, seeking interim bail to take oath as a Member of Parliament. 


Engineer Rashid, a former Jammu and Kashmir MLA, has been in Tihar jail since August 2019. He was arrested in a 2016 terror funding case and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

 

His name surfaced as Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali was being investigated for financing terrorist organisations and separatist groups in Kashmir.

 

In his plea presented to Additional Sessions Judge Chander Jit Singh on June 4, Rashid requested either interim bail or custody parole to assume his new parliamentary duties. The NIA, initially asked to respond by Thursday, requested additional time to file its reply.

 

The case against Rashid is part of a larger investigation into alleged terrorism and secessionist activities in the Valley in which some individuals were implicated. They included Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2022, banned Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.


In Rashid’s case, legal experts, including former Lok Sabha secretary-general PDT, Achari cited “Article 101(4) of the Constitution, which deals with the absence of members from Parliament without prior sanction.”

 

Following his oath-taking, Rashid would need to inform the Speaker of their inability to attend parliamentary proceedings due to his imprisonment. 

 

However, if convicted and sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison, he would lose his parliamentary seat immediately.

 

In 2013 Supreme Court in its verdict invalidated Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, which had allowed convicted MPs and MLAs three months to appeal against their convictions.

 

The court’s decision on Rashid’s application for interim bail or custody parole is awaited, with implications for both his political career and the functioning of the newly elected Lok Sabha.

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