The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been issued a notice by the Delhi High Court on a plea by hardliner Kashmiri separatist and Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi who challenged the agency’s decision to seize her Srinagar house.
A Division Bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal sought the response from NIA on Andrabi’s alleged accomplice, Sofi Fehmeeda, challenging the seizure of her car.
The matter will now be considered on September 28.
Asiya Andrabi is the chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, which is a banned organisation which advocates the secession of Jammu & Kashmir from India through violent means. The accomplice Fehmeeda is also a part of this group.
Andrabi is booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
In 2019, the NIA had passed an order to seize the house of Andrabi and the car of Fehmeeda. It was alleged that these properties are “proceeds of terrorism” and were used for furtherance of militant activity.
The order by NIA to attach the property of Andrabi and Fehmeeda was the first such attachment of separatist property in Kashmir.
The designated authority were approached by Andrabi and Fehmeeda challenging the attachment, but their representation and appeals were dismissed.
The Patiala House Court’s order was challenged by them before the High Court. The petition has been filed through advocate Shariq Iqbal.
Andrabi in his plea has said that the Special Judge at the Patiala House Courts did not decide the illegalities of the order challenged, but has given his own opinion and wrongly concluded that because she gave an interview in her house, it can be treated as her office.
The act of giving an interview does not come under the ambit of terrorist activity, the plea stated.
The plea said that the interpretation of the Special Judge sitting in appeal that giving an interview in the house would tantamount to an “act of terrorism” is completely devoid of merit because it was not the Appellant who had called the media persons at her home to take the interview but rather it was the media persons who had gone to her home to take the interviews… “So it cannot be said that the appellant was using her house to spread terrorism”.
Fehmeeda has further mentioned that not every activity by a Proscribed Organization can be termed as a militant activity or a banned activity. The Special Judge without proof has presumed that the car was used in furtherance of “terrorist activities” when there is no evidence to that effect. (Agencies)