The Delhi Police has informed the high court here that out of 83 cases registered by it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) since 2005, charge sheets were filed in 40 cases within 90 days, while an extension was sought in 20 cases.

The data was submitted on the direction of the Delhi High Court which was hearing a plea by a UAPA accused challenging a trial court order extending the 90-day deadline granted to the Delhi Police in the case against him.

The police said though a total of 98 cases were lodged under the anti-terror law, 15 of them were transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Anish Dayal had in October asked the police to place on record the number of cases under the UAPA where it filed the charge sheet within the stipulated 90 days period.

The High Court had also asked the police to disclose the details of instances where a charge sheet was filed after seeking an extension of the 90-day deadline.

Section 43 D (2) of the anti-terror law grants 90 days to the investigating agency to complete its probe and file the charge sheet. It, however, states if it is not possible to complete the investigation within that period, the court concerned may extend the deadline up to 180 days.

Of the 83 cases, the police said, 40 cases have been decided and 29 are pending trial while 14 others are pending investigation.

The police, in its status report, said that in 40 cases, charge sheets were filed within the stipulated 90-day period, while the extension of time was sought in 20 cases.

Out of the 14 cases where an investigation is pending, no arrest has been made in 12 cases. In two cases, arrests have been made but the initial 90 days are not completed.

The petitioner has contended the test for granting an extension is that of "impossibility of completion of investigation within ninety days", which is materially different from inability or the mere fact of non-completion of examination of call records or other related investigation.

He said the trial court did not assess the report of the public prosecutor on the threshold of impossibility and the investigation seemed to not have progressed since the police and judicial remand was allowed earlier this year.

The higher threshold of 'impossibility' has been inserted for good reasons since the UAPA being a special Act already grants an extraordinarily long period of 90 days for pre-charge detention of the accused, which is an exception in criminal justice jurisprudence, the plea said.

"Thus any further extension of the period of detention without charge has to be assessed on a higher threshold," the plea said.

With PTI inputs