Delhi Police use faulty sanction to prosecute him under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

A Sessions court here has acquitted a man, accused of being a member of terror outfit Al-Badr who had allegedly sent a large consignment of communication equipment from Saudi Arabia to India, after Delhi Police obtained a faulty sanction to prosecute him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The failure to obtain proper sanction had earlier led to Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy being discharged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act following which the Delhi Police filed a fresh charge sheet after obtaining proper sanction from the Lieutenant-Governor. The sanction is meant to ensure that investigating agencies do not misuse the stringent UAPA to implicate innocent people.

Acquitting Srinagar resident Sajjad Hussain Sheikh, Additional Sessions Judge P. K. Jain said: “Prosecution has failed to bring home the guilt of the accused for the offence punishable under Section 40 of UAPA beyond the shadow of all reasonable doubts. Thus I hereby acquit him.”

According to the police, one Mohammed Amin Khan had visited an air cargo office in Delhi in June 2005 to receive a consignment sent through a Saudi airline. The consignment was examined upon suspicion, and it was found to contain 40 wireless handsets, one satellite phone, 60 antennae of various frequencies, and a belt with an electric device with six headphone sets. Khan and another accused, Obaid-Ul-Ahad, were arrested. During interrogation, they allegedly said they were members of Al-Badr and the consignment was sent by Sajjad at the direction of an area commander of the organisation.

Khan was convicted while Obaid-ul-Ahad was acquitted by a Sessions court in February 2010.

Sheikh was deported from Saudi Arabia on May 8, 2010. During trial, Sheikh said he was deported because his passport was not renewed by the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia as a complaint was sent to the Embassy by the Special Cell. He claimed he was falsely implicated in the case.

Though the police claimed they had intercepted phone calls of Sajjad speaking with Khan, defence counsel argued that the alleged conversation was “unauthorisedly intercepted” without any order from any competent authority.

Besides the flaw relating to the mandatory sanction from the L-G certifying that the charge sheet was independently vetted, the defence also argued that there was a delay of two days in lodging the FIR and that its copy was sent to a magisterial court only 11 days later which raised the possibility of its fabrication.

  • Delhi Police use faulty sanction to prosecute accused under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

  • He was allegedly an Al-Badr member and had sent communication equipment from Saudi Arabia