The Supreme Court, today, heard the Special Leave Petition filed by Suhail Ahmad Thokar, one of the accused charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir “larger conspiracy” case post revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

Thokar challenged the judgment passed by the Delhi High Court upholding the order denying bail by the trial court.

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan observed, " The Trial court is directed to decide pending applications and thereafter list the case to consider the framing of the issues. The pending applications shall be decided by May 31st, 2024. The question of pending issues may be resolved by 20th July, 2024 and soon thereafter the case shall be listed for the production of prosecution evidence. The Trial Court will ensure that the protected witnesses are examined first."

Advocate for Thokar submitted that NIA has filed an additional affidavit regarding the steps to be taken on the issue of the number of witnesses. He also submitted the trial has not commenced and the matter is now listed for redacting the witnesses in the matter.

ASG K M Nataraj appeared on behalf of NIA.

Advocate for Thokar submitted, "There only one witness against me, who says I come to a house with two persons...he called us militants...he said we are involved in the activities...there no recovery from connection...therefore I am pressing for bail."

Justice Kant remarked, "As far as I can see, they(NIA) has done a good job...they have reduced the witnesses..."

It was the case of the prosecution that an FIR was registered subsequent to the receipt of intelligence regarding the incubation of a larger conspiracy in the Kashmir valley. It was alleged by the prosecution, that the conspiracy, encompassed both the physical realm, as well as in the digital domain and had been orchestrated by violent and proscribed terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-E-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Al-Badr, as well other terrorist groups pointed elaborated in the charge sheet. Furthermore, it was alleged that these groups were allegedly associated with entities such as The Resistance Front (TRF), People Against Fascist Force(PAFF), and Mujahideen Ghazwat-ul-Hind (MGH).

It was also the case of that prosecution that, during the investigation, it was unearthed that, the terrorist groups, in collaboration with their facilitators and leaders based in Pakistan, along with their Over-Ground Workers within India, were involved in influencing and radicalizing susceptible local youth. It was also alleged that, the objective was to recruit and train these young individuals for participating in acts of terrorism, which included handling weapons, ammunition, and explosive materials and these actions were intended to execute acts of terrorism, involving attacks on civilians and security forces, with the intention of spreading fear within the Kashmir Valley and in various regions of India, subsequent to the revocation of Article 370 from the Constitution of India.

The case was registered by the National Investigation Agency under Sections 120B, 121A, 122, and 123 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as under Sections 18, 18A, 18B, 20, 38, and 39 of the UAPA.

Cause Title: Suhail Ahmad Thokar v. National Investigation Agency (Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No (s). 83/2024)