Eight PFI activists granted bail

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PFI members hold protests in Kerala as top leaders detained in NIA, ED raids

By Muslim Mirror

A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to eight defendants in a case related to the Popular Front of India ban, stating that the police had not been able to present enough evidence to support how the defendants had engaged in the alleged illegal activities while they were in custody from September 27.

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The defendants were detained on September 27, and the PFI was outlawed on September 28. The prohibition took effect on September 29, according to Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Khanagwal.

“The investigating officer has not been able to show sufficient incriminating material against the accused collected during the investigation that as to when accused were in custody from 27.09.2022 and remained in Tihar Jail till 4.10.2022 or 3.10.2022, then how the accused persons have carried out such activities which are aimed at advocating, abetting or inciting/assisting any unlawful activity of unlawful organisation (sic),” the court order read.

“The IO has not been able to show sufficient incriminating material against the accused persons collected during the investigation that as to when accused persons were in custody from 27.09.2022 and remained in Tihar Jail till O4.10.2022 or 03.10.2022, then how the accused persons have carried out such an activities which are aimed at advocating, abetting or inciting/assisting any unlawful activity of unlawful organization,” the Court order further read.

According to the Court the “material collected during the investigation is silent as to the role of accused persons in financial activities or in advocating the activities of unlawful organisation after its ban…”.

Mohd Waris Khan, Abdullah, Sheikh Gulfam Hussain, Mohd Shoeb, Abdul Rab, Habeeb Asghar Jamali, Mohd Shoaib, and Mohsin Waqar are the men who were granted the bail.

On September 27, all eight of the men were placed in detention pursuant to Section 107/151 CrPC. After being placed in preventive detention, Shoaib, Rab, Jamali, and Waris were freed on October 2; Abdullah, Hussain, Shoeb, and Mohsin were released on October 4.

However, a FIR was filed at Shaheen Bagh Police Station on September 29 based on suspicions of that the members of an “unlawful association” were planning to commit acts of violence.

The police stated they had recovered PFI flags and booklets with the words “PFI Zindabad” on them.

Regarding the Delhi Police’s contention that the accused individuals’ call detail records need to be examined, the Court stated that the Investigation Officer already has those records in his or her possession.

Some of the accused were represented by advocate Mujeeb Rehman, who claimed that the police had wrongfully arrested and imprisoned them.

He said that “they were picked up from the jail itself and were not apprehended from the place as alleged against them.”

In court, the accused’s defence advocate showed a CCTV clip to support their claim that the accused were seen on October 2 and 4 “being picked up forcibly by the police officials” and afterwards, after being released from judicial custody.

According to the advocate, they “were picked up by the police officials from the exit gate of the jail itself and were taken to the police station for their false implication”.

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