New Delhi: Delhi Police was given preference over NIA to quiz Indian Mujahideen (IM) men Tehsin Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas by a court here as the continuity in the probe done by the local cops, who caught them, would have been broken if they were handed over to the federal agency.
Further, the court was also conscious that taking away the custody of the prized catches from the special cell would jeopardise the ongoing probe carried by it so far because it has only 30 days of mandatory time-limit to interrogate them while in custody.
Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash sent Tehsin, Waqas and three suspected IM operatives in the custody of special cell till April 15, saying, “If at this stage, the accused are handed over to NIA, the whole investigation so far as conducted by the special cell will result in failure as police custody can be granted till 30 days only from the initial date of arrest.
“It is the Special Cell of Delhi Police, which arrested the accused first and since the date of arrest, the special cell has the police custody of the accused and they are in the process of the investigation which is yet to be completed,” the judge said in his order.
The order came after a tug of war between the two probe agencies in which the special cell had its way with the court remanding the accused to its custody while brushing aside the claims of NIA to quiz them first.
“Once the accused are handed over to NIA, the period of 30 days as envisaged may lapse,” the court said and took note of the submissions of the special cell which had argued that it had got permission from Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct the investigation in the case.
“Accordingly, the special cell is granted further 13 days police custody to complete the investigation i.e upto April 15,” the court said.