Kashmir News Trust [KNT]
Delhi High Court issues notice to NIA on plea by incarcerated Kashmiri separatist leader Asiya Andrabi
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been issued a notice by the Delhi High Court on a plea by incarcerated Kashmiri separatist and Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi who challenged the agency’s decision to seize her Srinagar house, India Legal reported on Wednesday.
A Division Bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal sought the response from NIA on Asiya Andrabi’s alleged accomplice, Sofi Fehmeeda, challenging the seizure of her car.
The matter will now be considered on September 28.
Asiya Andrabi is the chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, which has been banned by the Government of India. She along with Sofi Fehmeeda and others were arrested in 2018 and since then they are languishing in jail for the alleged anti-India activities.
Asiya Andrabi is booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
In 2019, the NIA had passed an order to seize the house of Asiya Andrabi and the car of Fehmeeda. It was alleged that these properties are proceeds of militancy and were used for the furtherance of militant activity.
The order by NIA to attach the property of Asiya Andrabi and Fehmeeda was the first such attachment of separatist property in Kashmir.
The designated authority was approached by Asiya Andrabi and Fehmeeda challenging the attachment, but their representation and appeals were dismissed.
The Patiala House Court’s order was challenged by them before the High Court. The petition has been filed through advocate Shariq Iqbal.
Asiya Andrabi in his plea has said that the Special Judge at the Patiala House Courts did not decide the illegalities of the order challenged, but has given his own opinion and wrongly concluded that because she gave an interview in her house, it can be treated as her office.
The act of giving an interview does not come under the ambit of militant activity, the plea stated.
The plea said that the interpretation of the Special Judge sitting in appeal that giving an interview in the house would tantamount to an act of militancy is completely devoid of merit because it was not the Appellant who had called the media persons at her home to take the interview but rather it was the media persons who had gone to her home to take the interviews… So it cannot be said that the appellant was using her house to spread militancy.
Fehmeeda has further mentioned that not every activity by a Proscribed Organization can be termed as a Militant Activity or a banned activity. The Special Judge without proof has presumed that the car was used in furtherance of militant activities when there is no evidence to that effect.