Mumbai: A special court on Wednesday gave an additional 15 days’ time to the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to file a charge-sheet against five alleged members of banned Popular Front of India (PFI). They were arrested in September, 2022 for purported links with terror activities.
The ATS had made an application before the court seeking an extension of time. On Wednesday, the prosecutor for the ATS told the court that data is voluminous and that it is also securing sanction to prosecute the accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), for which it requires time.
On Dec 17 last year, the ATS had got an extension of 30 days to file the charge-sheet, after which it sought another extension of 90 days. Back then, the ATS had told the court that from one accused itself, it has collected voluminous data of 627 GB.
It had underlined that there are chats, images, videos and the data has to be confronted with those with whom the chats have happened. The prosecution had then informed court that the call detail record analysis shows that the five accused are connected with those arrested in other similar FIR’s in the state.
Opposing the prosecution's demand, the advocates for the accused on Wednesday argued that personal liberty of their clients is being hampered in this manner and this aspect needs to be considered. They strongly objected to the extension, saying that the accused have to remain in custody till the charge-sheet is filed. The advocates told the court that sufficient time had already been given to the ATS.
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