Mumbai: NIA court grants Areeb Majeed bail

Mumbai: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday granted bail to Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed, accused by the agency of travelling to Iraq and Syria to join terrorist organization Islamic State in 2014.

This comes after the High Court had last month set aside the trial court order of September last year denying bail to him. A bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice Nitin Borkar had directed the trial court to look at the bail plea afresh and decide it within six weeks. Majeed has been in custody since his arrest in November 2014.

The trial court has now granted Majeed bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh. He has been directed to surrender his passport and visit the NIA office every week. The court has also said that in case he does not attend court and an arrest warrant is issued against him, he will not get bail again. It has also directed him to furnish the names and residential and work addresses and three of his blood relatives.

After the court granted bail, NIA made a plea seeking a stay on the order. The court then stayed the order till March 27.

The bail plea, which had been Majeed’s third, had been filed on the grounds that there was a change in circumstance as witnesses had not supported the prosecution case. He had contended that his previous bail applications had been rejected on the grounds that there was prima facie material against him and had relied on statements of these witnesses and now that the witnesses had turned hostile, he deserved to be granted bail pending trial.

Majeed is facing charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Section 125 of the IPC - waging war against the government of any Asiatic power in alliance or at peace with the government of India. The NIA case against him is that he and three others had travelled to Iraq and Syria in 2014 to join the ISIS. It claims he had returned to India in November 2014 with ulterior motives, while Majeed has maintained that his return was facilitated by the NIA.

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