Mere possession of jihadi literature is not an offence: Delhi High Court to NIA
According to reports, the court framed charges against Mushab Anwar, Rhees Rasheed, Mundadiguttu Sadanananda, Marla Deepthi, Mohd Waqar Lone, Mizha Siddeeque, Shifa Haris, Obaid Hamid Matta, and Ammar Abdul Rahiman.
Delhi High Court on Thursday (November 3) said that it was unfathomable that "mere possession of Jihadi literature" or philosophy "would amount to an offence" if the material is not banned. This had come while the court was dealing with an Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had accused as many as 11 people of aligning themselves with the banned terrorist organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and "being part of various ISIS propaganda channels on different secured as well as unsecured social media applications".
The NIA has also made allegations of terror funding in this case over a transaction of Rs 60,000 between the accused.
On October 31, Principal District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma had said, "To hold that mere possession of Jihadi literature having a particular religious philosophy would amount to an offence, though such literature is not expressly or specifically banned under any provision of law, is not fathomable in law unless and until there is material about the execution of such philosophy so as to do terrorist acts."
"Such a proposition runs counter to the freedoms and rights guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution. Even if they were impressed by the said philosophy and ideology, still they cannot be said to be members much less such members as would attract the penal liability of the said organisation," Judge Dharmesh Sharma said.
According to reports, the court framed charges against Mushab Anwar, Rhees Rasheed, Mundadiguttu Sadanananda, Marla Deepthi, Mohd Waqar Lone, Mizha Siddeeque, Shifa Haris, Obaid Hamid Matta, and Ammar Abdul Rahiman under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)s read with Sections 2 (o), 13, 38 and 39 of the UAPA. However, the court discharged one accused, Muzamil Hassan Bhat, of all charges.