Delhi HC rejects plea for house arrest of jailed former PFI leader Abubacker

“We are not granting you house arrest. There is no provision in law for house arrest. The honourable Supreme Court has powers which this court does not,” the High Court said

December 19, 2022 01:39 pm | Updated 09:13 pm IST - New Delhi

Delhi High Court. File

Delhi High Court. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Delhi High Court on Monday declined to send E. Abubacker, jailed former chairman of the outlawed Popular Front of India (PFI), to house arrest but said he would be admitted to hospital for medical treatment.

A Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh said, “When you are asking for medical bail, why should we send you to your house? We will send you to a hospital”.

The Bench said there was no provision in law for a “house arrest” and directed Mr. Abubacker to be sent to the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in custody for an onco surgery review on December 22.

“We don’t see anything appropriate in this because no surgery has been recommended. We can’t grant you house arrest, first of all. If your medical condition requires hospitalisation, we can direct hospitalisation. We may permit an attendant. We are not permitting anything else,” the court said.

“He [Mr. Abubacker] is entitled to medical treatment and that we will provide,” the court said, adding, “We are not granting you house arrest”.

The High Court’s observations came while hearing a plea of Mr. Abubacker against a trial court order refusing to release him on medical grounds.

Earlier, Mr. Abubacker’s counsel had said the 70-year-old was suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and was in “great pain”, which needed urgent medical attention.

The counsel for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated that Mr. Abubacker was being provided “best possible treatment” and he was due to meet an oncologist on December 22.

‘Unlawful association’

Mr. Abubacker was arrested on September 22 by the agency. On September 28 this year, the Home Ministry notified the PFI and its associates as an “unlawful association” under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The Ministry said the PFI and its affiliates had been “found to be involved in serious offences, including terrorism and its financing, targeted gruesome killings, disregarding the constitutional set up of the country, disturbing public order etc. which are prejudicial to the integrity, security and sovereignty of the country”.

A large number of alleged PFI activists were detained or arrested in several States following a massive nationwide crackdown.

The High Court has posted the case for further consideration in January next year.

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