HC notices to Govt, NIA on Sadhvi Pragya's brother plea

Issuing notices to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Union government, Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra sought their replies by April 6.

Pulling up the investigating officer (IO) for summoning Brahmachari, who was not in his jurisdiction for interrogation, Justice Dhingra also sought his reply by the next date of hearing.

"Prima facie, the notice is illegal. How can you call a person who is not in your jurisdiction for interrogation? If the person is required to be interrogated, you should travel to the place where the person is based," the court told the NIA's counsel.

The court also directed the investigating agency to reimburse the expenses incurred by Brahmachari on travelling from Mumbai to Panchkula in Haryana and then to Delhi on January 4.

"Respondents (Union of India and NIA) are liable to refund all the expenses incurred towards travel from Mumbai to Delhi via Panchkula," the court said.

Brahmachari's counsel Chetan Sharma said his client was served with two notices to appear before the investigating agency on January 5 at two different places, Panchkula and Delhi, on the same date.

He also said his client is based in Mumbai and notices were served by the IO, which is beyond his power.

The court was hearing a petition by Brahmachari, who had attempted suicide in a south-east Delhi guest house on January 5, accusing the NIA of harassing him.

Brahmachari had accused the NIA of violating his fundamental rights and had said the agency was not following the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for interrogation.

In his petition, Brahmachari's counsel had said that his client had tried to commit suicide by consuming poison due to the harassment by the agency.

As per his counsel, he was depressed due to questioning by the NIA about his sister's alleged role in terrorist acts.

Brahmachari had also sought the court's direction that he should be questioned near Gangotri where he lives and not in Delhi.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh is accused of orchestrating the Malegaon blast of 2008, in which seven people were killed.

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