Waheed Para gets bail, court says UAPA case not made out, ‘not a whisper on him’

Nearly one-and-a-half month after his arrest by the NIA on charges of alleged terror links, PDP youth wing leader Waheed Ur Rehman Para was Saturday granted bail by Special Judge Sunit Gupta, holding that “offences, particularly falling under Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), are not prima facie made out against the applicant/accused”.

Highlighting various loopholes in the NIA case against Para, the judge said neither the original nor the supplementary chargesheet has a “reference of the present applicant”, and that he is even referred to as “suspected accused in the said case”. It also questioned the very basis of Para’s arrest, on the “so-called disclosure statement” of militant Syed Naveed Mushtaq Shah alias Naveed Baba, noting that its “legal value” was “seriously hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act”, which says that such confessional statement can only be recorded under Section 164 CrPC by a Magistrate, and said that not even one protected witness had named him.

The Special Judge ordered Para’s release on furnishing a surety and personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each, with the direction that he not leave Jammu and Kashmir without written permission during his bail period and surrender his passport. Para was also specifically told not to approach any prosecution witness.

Considered instrumental in revival of the PDP in South Kashmir, Para was arrested by the NIA on November 25, three days after he had filed nomination papers from…

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