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SC rejects NIA appeal, upholds Bombay HC bail order to Areeb Majeed, one of the first ISIS recruits from India

Majeed who has been accused of being involved with the Islamic State (IS) terror network, was granted bail by a Division Bench of justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale of the Bombay HC in March this year.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) plea against Bombay High Court’s order granting bail to one of the first Islamic State recruits from India, Areeb Majeed. 

Additional Solicitor General Raju argued that Majeed was granted bail just because of his behaviour in jail. However, Majeed’s case has been filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as he had visited Syria and returned to India to bomb the police headquarters. 

Rejecting the plea, the Supreme Court Bench ordered that Majeed had already spent 6.5 years in jail and that stringent conditions have been imposed on him. 

Majeed was granted bail by the Special Court on March 17, 2020, which was contested by the NIA. In March 2021, the Bombay HC had upheld the bail order. 

Bombay High Court grants bail to Majeed

Majeed who has been accused of being involved with the Islamic State (IS) terror network, was granted bail by a Division Bench of justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale of the Bombay HC in March this year. 

“He has already undergone incarceration for more than six years and there is a likelihood of the trial being delayed for a considerable period,” noted the Bench while granting him bail. 

The Court had further observed, “Mr Majeed is an educated person, who was completing his graduation in Civil Engineering when he left for Iraq at the age of 21.”

“He categorically stated before us that as a 21-year-old, he was carried away and that he had committed a serious mistake, for which he had already spent over six years behind bars,” the Bench added. 

The Court also considered his family background and ordered, “His father is a doctor of Unani medicine and his sisters are also doctors. His brother is an engineer. This shows that he comes from an educated family and that if stringent conditions are imposed upon him, with an undertaking to cooperate with the trial proceedings before the NIA Court, his release on bail may not be harmful to the society at large and it would not adversely affect the trial proceedings.”

NIA in its case had specified how Majeed along with three others had fled on the pretext of undertaking a pilgrimage in Iraq. However, the group had never visited the pilgrimage sites and had escaped to Syria to join the IS and undertake Jihadi activities. 

Majeed was arrested by the NIA on November 29, 2014, and was lodged at Arthur Road jail.

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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