Bombay HC quashes NIA court’s order staying bail to accused in Antilia case

Bombay High Court. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed and set aside the order passed by a National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) court, and granted bail to a cricket bookie Naresh Gaur, an accused in the Antilia explosives case.

Mr. Gaur’s petition to the Bombay HC assails the order passed by the special NIA court on November 20, on a request made by the NIA. The special NIA court had passed an order staying the operation of its own order granting bail to Mr. Gaur for 25 days.

On November 20, a special NIA court granted him bail after observing that prima facie, he did not seem to be aware of the conspiracy in the case. He has been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

A Single Bench of Justice Sandeep Shinde said, “In my view, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) does not empower the Sessions Judge to stay the operation of his order of grant of bail.”

In its nine-page order, the court remarked, “The NIA judge could not have assumed the jurisdiction to stay its own order of grant of bail by taking recourse of the Cr.P.C. This being an error in exercise of jurisdiction, the petition was perfectly maintainable.”

Mr. Gaur is the first accused to be granted bail in Antilia explosives case and was arrested by the probe agency in March, after his connection to Thane-based business Mansukh Hiran and his sudden death came to the surface. The explosive-laden SUV found in front of Mukesh Ambani house ‘Antilia’ on February 25 belonged to Hiran but was stolen a week before the incident.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 7:45:37 AM |

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