The National Investigating Agency (NIA) on Wednesday informed the special court in Mumbai that it has challenged the court's earlier order regarding dropping of two charges against ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed in the Bombay High Court. With this, the agency has sought some more time for framing of charges against Majeed, who has been in judicial custody for more than two years now.
A special court had last month dropped two charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against Majeed. In his order, Special Judge VV Patil had said that since the ISIS was not declared a terror organisation in India prior to February 2015, Majeed could not be charged for being its member. So Section 20 and 38 of the UAPA which alleged that he was a part of terror group ISIS was dropped against him.
The NIA believes that Majeed had returned to India with an ulterior motive. It has been stating that ISIS was banned by the United Nations Security Council in 2014, which was a binding on all member states, including India. So dropping of section 20 and 38 of UAPA against Majeed was not right.
CHARGES UNDER UAPA
Majeed will continue to face other charges under the UAPA, including Section 16 (punishment for terrorist act) and Section 18 (punishment for conspiracy) with Section 125 (waging war against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Government of India) under the Indian Penal Code.
Majeed, a resident of Thane district is alleged to have travelled to Iraq to join ISIS along a with a few of his like-minded friends. While the whereabouts of his friends are unknown, Majeed returned and was arrested by the NIA from Mumbai airport in 2014.
The special NIA court adjourned the hearing of Majeed's case to April 13.