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Naser Bin Abu Bakr Yafai vs State of Maharashtra LL 2021 SC 576

KEY TAKEAWAY

  • Mere renumbering of the case filed by the NIA Mumbai did not take away the power of the ATS Nanded to continue the investigation.
  • Naser Bin Abu Bakr Yafai and three others were arrested after the Anti-Terrorism Squad received information that he was in contact with members of the Islamic State /Islamic State of Iraq and Syria /Islamic State of Iraq and Levant/Daesh, terrorist organizations banned by the United Nations and the Indian Government.

BACKGROUND

  • Naser Bin Abu Bakr Yafai filed an application on 21 October 2016 before the ASJ, Nanded, under Section 167(2) of the CrPC.
  • He contended that the offences under the UAPA are scheduled offences under the NIA Act, and hence, the CJM, Nanded had no jurisdiction to pass an order on remand, to take cognizance and pass an order of committal of the proceedings to the ASJ, Nanded since it was not a "Court" established under Sections 11 or 22 of the NIA Act.
  • The High Court upheld the order and also allowed NIA's application seeking transfer of the records and proceedings in the trial from the ASJ, Nanded tothe NIA Special Court, Mumbai on the ground that the NIA Mumbai was taking up further investigation of the case.
  • One of the contentions raised before the Apex Court was that once the Central Government directed the NIA Mumbai to take over the investigation under Section 6(4), the consequence under Section 6(6) was that ATS Nanded could not continue with the investigation (and file a charge-sheet) thereafter.

OBSERVATIONS

  • The court observed that ATS Nanded had a duty to continue with the investigation till the NIA Mumbai took over the investigation from it.
  • The bench noted Section 6 of the NIA Act as it stood before its amendment with effect from 2 August 2019 and laid down the salient feature.
  • Mere renumbering of the case filed by the NIA Mumbai did not take away the power of the ATS Nanded to continue the investigation.
  • "Hence, the principle enunciated by this Court in Bikramjit Singh (supra) would not apply to the present case since there existed no Special Courts in the State of Maharashtra designated under Section 22 of the NIA Act” (since the investigation was being conducted by the ATS Nanded, which had the jurisdiction over the case).
  • "Further, we hold that the CJM, Nanded could have committed the case to trial before the ASJ, Nanded upon the filing of charge-sheet by the ATS Nanded since they were the designated Courts for the ATS Nanded, and no Special Court had been designated by the Government of Maharashtra under Section 22 of the NIA Act.”

QUESTIONS:

  • What are your views on the judgement?
  • What is the full form of CJM?

Share your views in the comments section below.

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