The Delhi High Court refused to grant bail to an alleged member of NSCN (IM) i.e., National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), in a terror funding case.

The accused named Masasasong Ao filed an appeal against the order of the Special Judge by which his bail application was dismissed.

A Division Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain said, “Thus, as per bare allegations, A-2 is concealing the terrorist fund in a fraudulent manner. He cannot be permitted to run away from the clutches of law by making a bald assertion that bank accounts, though were in his names, but being managed and controlled by his co-accused. The appellant, being a government servant, should have been mindful of the severity of the financial transactions happening in such accounts. Being a government employee, he cannot be permitted to go scot free by merely verbally contending that he had no concern with these accounts as these were managed by his co-accused.”

Advocate M.S. Khan appeared for the appellant while SPP Shilpa Singh appeared for the respondent.

Facts of the Case -

In 2019, one lady passenger (A-1) was intercepted by CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) at Domestic Airport, who was travelling from New Delhi to Dimapur. She was found carrying cash of Rs. 72 lakhs and since she could not explain its source, the concerned Income Tax Authorities were informed. Her statement was recorded in which she claimed that the said cash belonged to NSCN (IM) and other terrorist activities in India. In view of this, a case was registered by Special Cell and was eventually taken over by NIA (National Investigation Agency) for further investigation.

The appellant (A-2) was the brother-in-law of A-1 and was also alleged to be the member of the said terrorist gang NSCN (IM) who was actively assisting A-1 in raising terrorist fun/extortion money. He was arrested in 2020 and the investigation revealed that he contrived a sophisticated network of terrorizing businessmen through the instrument of the armed cadres of the Naga Army and thereby created a systematic mechanism of collection of extortion/tax money for the terrorist fund. As his bail application was rejected by Special Judge (NIA), he approached the High Court.

The High Court in the above context of the case observed, “It also really does not matter whether NSCN (IM) has not so far been declared a terrorist organization or a terrorist gang. Such declaration would never be a pre-requisite for a prosecution like this. The allegations are very specific and as per the case of the prosecution, there is a criminal conspiracy amongst all the accused for raising and collecting terror funds for NSCN (IM) and A-2 is clearly acting in furtherance of such conspiracy. He had opened bank accounts for concealing and diverting such money required and making all the efforts to cause disappearance of extortion money and trail of evidence with intention to screen himself.”

The Court concluded that there are clear-cut allegations suggesting the appellant’s involvement and complicity for committing offence punishable under Chapter IV of UAPA [Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967].

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeal.

Cause Title- Masasasong Ao v. National Investigation Agency (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:4028-DB)


Appellant: Advocates M.S. Khan, Kahorngam Zimik, Prashant Prakash, Qausar Khan, Wung Rasem, Rahul Sahani, and Clare T.S.

Respondent: SPP Shilpa Singh and Advocate Pawan Singh Rana.

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