Delhi High Court
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Delhi HC issues notice in petition challenging extension of statutory period to conclude investigation in a Delhi Riots case

Notice was issued in a petition preferred by former Congress Municipal Councilor Ishrat Jahan.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a petition challenging the extension of statutory period to conclude the investigation in a Delhi Riots case by 60 days. (Ishrat Jahan vs State)

Notice was issued to the Prosecution by a single Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait in a petition preferred by former Congress Municipal Councilor Ishrat Jahan.

The Petitioner was arrested by Delhi Police in one of the Delhi riots FIR i.e. 59/2020 on March 21.

While the Petitioner was in judicial custody, offences under Section 124A, 302, 307, 353, 186, 212, 427, 434, 436, 452, 109, 114, 153A, 34 IPC, Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act, 1984, Arms Act and Sections 13, 16, 17 & 18 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act were added to FIR.

On June 8, the Public Prosecutor filed an application to extend the time for filing chargesheet in the FIR in terms of Section 43D(2)(b) UAPA before the Additional Sessions Court and the same was allowed.

The Petitioner has contended that the order extending the time period of investigation was erroneous, bad in law and against the democratic and fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Arguing that the period to complete the investigation could not be extended in a casual manner in view of the Right to speedy and fair investigation, the Petitioner has alleged that the filing of the extension application was an abuse of the legal process and that there was no legal or factual justification to allow the same.

It was stated that the Report filed by the Public Prosecutor contained no valid, genuine and compelling reasons to justify the grant of an extension.

The Petitioner claims that the object behind moving the extension application was to subvert and defeat the right of the Petitioner to seek regular and statutory bail under CrPC.

In the absence of any particular allegation against the Petitioner, which involved a time-consuming investigation, the extension beyond the statutory period of 90 days could not be given, the Petitioner has asserted,

It also argued that general investigative procedures could not be a ground to justify the extension of an accused’s custody.

The matter would be heard next on July 7.

The Petitioner was represented by Advocate Manu Sharma.

The Petitioner was filed through Advocates Lalit Valecha, Manu Prabhakar, Tushar Anand and Abhinav Meena.

The other accused in the FIR include Safoora Zargar, Devangana Kalita and Natsha Narwal.

Safoora was granted bail in the FIR yesterday on humanitarian grounds.

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