07-Dec-2022  Srinagar booked.net


Supreme Court Dismisses J&K Police’s Petition Challenging Waheed Parra’s Bail



The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition of the Jammu and Kashmir Police challenging the cancellation of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youth wing head Waheed Ur Rehman Parra’s bail application.

Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka in an order rejected a special leave petition moved by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Investigating Agency (SIA), which is a unit of the CID department.

"We would not like to interfere with the aspect of the grant of bail but we are certainly not giving our imprimatur to any of the observations coming in the impugned order as regards the interpretation of the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act),” the order said while dismissing the special leave petition.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta along with other lawyers prayed for the cancellation of Parra’s bail application. The PDP leader’s counsel Shariq J Reyaz opposed it.

Parra was granted bail by the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court in May stating that the evidence gathered by the prosecution is “too sketchy.”

He was first arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 25 November 2020 in a case against J&K police officer DySP Devender Singh and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Babu’s arrest case, days after he filed nomination to contest DDC elections.

He won the DDC election from Pulwama but could not take the oath because he was in jail.

On 9 January 2021, following a hearing by an NIA Court, the judge ruled that the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) did not apply in this case and granted him bail.

A few hours after his release, he was arrested again by the Counter-Intelligence in Kashmir (CIK) now SIA (State Investigation Agency) under a different charge related to providing financial support to militant groups.

On 11 January 2021, he was formally charged and transferred to Srinagar under the custody of CIK.

In May, this year, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh granted bail to Parra.

In June last year, five UN Rapporteurs claimed that Para was arrested after his interaction with UN Security Council members in a virtual event on July 30, 2020

“Our concern in the case of Waheed Para is heightened by the fact that his arrest and detention appear to be linked to his interaction with UN Security Council members, which would amount to acts of reprisals for such cooperation,” the 8-page communication mentions. Apart from Parra, the communication pertains to two other individuals – Irfan Ahmad Dar of Sopore and Naseer Ahmad Wani of Dompora Shopian. While Dar was killed in police custody, Wani is missing in custody,” they had said.

“.. on 30 July 2020, Para engaged with current and future members of the UN Security Council as a participant in a closed virtual meeting where he raised the alarm about the Government of India’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir, its treatment of Muslim minorities, and the recent border tensions with China.,” the communication signed by five Rapporteurs – Nils Melzer, Elina Steinert, Tae-Ung Baik, Agnes Callamard, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin.”

Notably, Parra was among hundreds of political workers in J&K who were detained or arrested on August 5, 2019, before the autonomous status of J&K was scrapped i.e article 370 of the Indian Constitution and the State was bifurcated into two Union Territories.