Police seek clarity in Kazmi case, move HC

Police seek clarity in Kazmi case, move HC

The city police, probing the terror attack on an Israeli diplomat, moved the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking its clarification on the magisterial court’s power in dealing with the cases under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Police approached the HC in the wake of recent confusion among lower courts in dealing with the issue of extending the judicial custody of journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi, arrested for his alleged role in the terror attack over the diplomat in February.
The confusion cropped up during a sessions court order on June 8, which questioned the magisterial court’s power to extend the judicial or police custody of an accused under anti-terror law.

“Not only the prosecution and the defence but also the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) court were in dark and were blissfully ignorant about the non-competence of the magisterial court to deal with matter under UAPA as they were never discussed at any point of time," Additional Sessions Judge Surinder S Rathi said in a ruling delivered over a plea by Kazmi. Kazmi had challenged the chief metropolitan magistrate’s June 2 order, which had extended the probe period of the case by another 90 days after he had already spent 90 days in custody since his arrest by the special cell on March 3.

After ASJ Rathi's June 8 order, both the defence and prosecution counsel had found themselves running from one court to another for extension of Kazmi’s judicial custody as the CMM’s court had refused to take up the matter.

On a plea by police challenging ASJ Rathi's order, the HC had even stayed it, but the CMM had refused to take it up saying a plain reading of the High Court's order reveals “no stay has been granted upon the observations” made by the sessions court on magisterial court’s power to deal with the issue of extension of custody of terror law accused.

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