Mumbai: Court rejects Chhota Shakeel’s relative Salim Fruit's plea to declare NIA's searches, seizure as illegal

Mumbai: Court rejects Chhota Shakeel’s relative Salim Fruit's plea to declare NIA's searches, seizure as illegal

The 49-year-old had claimed that in violation of his fundamental right, his personal data and that of his family members was seized during searches at his residence and office.

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Thursday, March 23, 2023, 06:32 PM IST
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A special court has rejected an application by gangster Chhota Shakeel’s relative Salim Fruit to declare the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) search and seizure at his residence and other locations as “illegal” as it purportedly invaded his right to privacy that is part of his right to life guaranteed by the Constitution. The court said there is sufficient prima facie material that he has broken the law and therefore his personal liberty and right to life can be curtailed.

Funds were raised illegally for D-company

Fruit was arrested by the agency in Aug last year in a case of raising funds through illegal methods for the D-company, being an active member of it. The 49-year-old had claimed that in violation of his fundamental right, his personal data and that of his family members was seized during searches at his residence and office.

Personal liberty and right to be left alone curtailed under article 21

The court said in its detailed order that the agency’s contention clearly demonstrates that the accused, his co-accused and wanted accused are involved in serious and heinous offences attracting the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) among stringent laws. Fruit had cited an apex court judgment on the right to life and to be let alone. Special NIA Judge BD Shelke said in the order, “In the present case at hand, there is sufficient prima facie against the accused which shows he has broken the law, therefore his personal liberty and his right to enjoy life under Article 21 can be curtailed following due legal procedure.”

Accused asked copies of recovered data

He had also made a plea through advocate Viquar Rajguru for being provided copies of data recovered from the devices seized. The court permitted the plea and directed the NIA to provide these. The NIA had responded to this plea and said that it was yet to receive these gadgets from the forensic lab where they were sent for analysis and that immediately after receiving them, they would be provided to the accused.

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