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‘Can’t stretch Article 21 to protect those threatening national sovereignty & integrity’: Karnataka HC dismisses bail plea by ISIS terrorist charged under UAPA

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 11th January 2023 arrested Mazin Abdul Rahman along with Nadeem Ahmed KA in connection with the Shivamogga ISIS conspiracy case.

The Karnataka High Court while denying bail to an ISIS terrorist has said that Article 21 cannot be stretched too long to afford protection to persons who have least concern for rule of law and pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of the nation.

The HC said this while dismissing an appeal filed by ISIS terrorist Mazin Abdul Rahman who is charged with sections 120B, 121, 121A of IPC and sections 18, 20 and 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Rahman, who is accused of being associated with the banned terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS), had approached the HC to challenge the order of the special court refusing bail to him.

A division bench of Justices Sreenivas Harish Kumar and Vijaykumar A Patil stated, “Article 51(A)(a) obligates every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the national flag and the national anthem. Clause (c) mandates every citizen to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. These are fundamental duties of every citizen.”

The court further added, “The appellant being a citizen of India is obligated to perform his duties and instead if he becomes a member of an organisation conspiring to wage war against India and show defiance to the Constitutional mandates, it is surprising that he tries to invoke Constitutional jurisdiction of this court.”

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 11th January 2023 arrested ISIS terrorist Mazin Abdul Rahman along with Nadeem Ahmed KA in connection with the Shivamogga ISIS conspiracy case.

The accused argued that except for the allegation of his involvement in conducting recce, there are no allegations that indicate his involvement in anti-national activities.

The prosecution opposed the appeal submitting that the intention of the accused was to wage war against India. He accused several encrypted communication platforms and received several incriminating materials.

Upholding the denial of bail to the IS accused, the court ruled that “the accusations in the charge sheet do not appear to be imaginary, rather they are the result of analysis of the data found in the devices recovered from the possession of the appellant.”

“It is our considered view that Constitutional powers cannot be exercised when materials produced before the court prima facie show or indicate threat to unity, integrity and sovereignty of our country, instead it is the duty of the Constitutional Courts to protect the nation and its society from such people who indulge in anti national and anti societal activities. Without the nation there is no Constitution,” the court said.

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