New Delhi: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday upheld the bail granted by a NIA court to Areeb Majeed, who was arrested in 2014. Majeed has been accused of travelling to Iraq to join Islamic States of Iraq and Syria.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale praised Majeed, who argued his own case before the NIA Court as well as before the high court.
The court granted bail on the ground that the trial would take very long and the petitioner had already undergone incarceration for more than six years as an undertrial prisoner.
It added that it was conscious of the fact that even a sentence of life imprisonment could be imposed for the offence with which, Majeed had been charged under the UAPA and the IPC but, it could not ignore the fact that the sentence could range between five years to imprisonment for life.
The court also said Majeed was an educated person, who was completing his graduation in Civil Engineering when he left for Iraq at the age of 21 years.
”He categorically stated before us that as a 21-year-old, he was carried away and that he had committed a serious mistake, for which he had already spent more than six years behind bars”, the bench said.
While ordering Majeeds release on a personal bond of ₹1 lakh, the court directed him to appear before the local police station twice a day for two months and thereafter once a day and so on. The court also restrained Majeed from speaking to the media about the trial and ordered him to cooperate for the expeditious completion of the trial.
Dr Ejaz Majeed, father of Areeb, while speaking to Hindustan Times, said, ”We are thankful to God for Areeb’s release and we are waiting for the formalities to be completed. It is too early to comment on how we are going to celebrate his return home.”