After 21 months behind bars, the editor of a news portal Fahad Shah was granted bail by the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which dismissed multiple charges against him, including the accusation of involvement in a terror conspiracy.
"Adhering to the bail procedures is our priority. It might be a while before Fahad Shah is released from jail," stated senior advocate PN Raina, representing the editor of Kashmir Walla news portal in the high court.
Further, He said charges such as terror conspiracy (Section 18) and waging war against the country (Section 121) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration (Section 153-B) of the Indian Penal Code were quashed against Shah.
The matter was heard by a bench at the Jammu wing, of Justice Sreedharan and Justice ML Manhas.
The Court mentioned that Shah would still undergo trial under Section 13 (abetting unlawful activities) of the UA(P)A.
Additionally, he is set to face trial for the alleged illegal reception of foreign funds.
“The bench announced the bail on Friday but it is yet to be uploaded and will take time till Monday. There are some formalities which need to be fulfilled. After they are completd, Shah will be released,” said Jahanzeb Ahmad Hamal, one of the advocates in Shah’s legal team.
Back in April, the high court had nullified Shah’s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Shah, aged 34, was taken into custody by Pulwama police on February 4, 2022, accused of glorifying militancy and sedition due to an article covering an encounter. According to the police, Shah had three separate first information reports (FIRs) filed against him in the span of four years – one in Srinagar, one in Pulwama, and another in Shopian.
Shopian police arrested Shah and took custody from the Pulwama police on February 26, 2022, shortly after he was granted bail by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court. Following this, on March 6, 2022, Srinagar Police arrested Shah in a case registered at the Safa Kadal police station under UAPA.
He was ultimately charged under the Public Safety Act on March 6, 2022, which allows for a person to be detained without trial for up to two years.
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