The Delhi High Court has directed a special NIA court here to decide expeditiously the bail application of an accused, arrested in a case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, without awaiting resumption of physical functioning of the courts. A Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambhani said that it did not agree with the special court's reason for deferring hearing the bail plea — which was pending since February — to await physical hearings on account of the case record being voluminous.
The bench opined that deferring hearing in the bail plea was also in the teeth of a single Judge order directing expeditious disposal of the bail plea of the accused by the NIA court. We direct the learned Special Judge, NIA, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi to commence hearing the appellant's bail application pending adjudication before him from August 7, 2021, the next date of hearing fixed before him, without awaiting resumption of physical functioning of the courts. "The learned Special Judge, NIA is also directed to dispose of the appellant's bail application expeditiously as directed by the learned single Judge of this Court vid order dated May 27, 2021, the bench said.
The high court clarified that it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the bail application. In his plea before the high court, the accused had sought a direction to the NIA court to dispose of his pending bail application. The accused, represented by advocates Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Prabhav Ralli, argued that in spite of the directions of the single judge, his bail application had remained pending. As per the order passed by the single judge, the accused was behind bars in the case since September 2018 and was a senior citizen. Before the single judge as well, the accused had claimed that the trial was going on a slow pace and insisted on a direction to the NIA court to decide his bail application in a time-bound manner.