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‘Ghee’ is code word for explosives, claims NIA; Delhi court says no evidence

There is no such thing as a proof on file to indicate that ‘ghee’ is a code phrase for ‘explosives’ and ‘khidmat’ is cipher for ‘service of terrorists’, stated a Delhi courtroom whereas discharging 4 accused in a terror funding case on Thursday.

The 4 males — Mohd Salman, Mohd Saleem, Arif Gulam Bashir Dharampuria and Mohd. Hussain Molani — had been arrested by the Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) for allegedly receiving cash from a Pakistani terrorist outfit, Falah-i-Insaniat Basis (FIF), for attracting a gaggle of sympathisers and sleeper cells to “create unrest in India”. The funds had been acquired underneath the garb of establishing a mosque, the NIA alleged.

To construct its case, the NIA had relied on two messages they stated had been recovered from the cell phone of Mohd Salman. One of many messages learn “ghee ka intezaam ho gaya hai, Bombay wali celebration bhi aayegi…unke hatho bhijwa denge (The ghee is prepared, the Bombay crew will come too, we are going to ship it via them)”, and the opposite learn, “…aap khidmat me the na isliye aapko nahi pata hai (you had been in service, therefore you wouldn’t know)”.

The NIA had interpreted the phrase “ghee” within the messages as code phrase for explosives and “khidmat”, Urdu for “within the service of”, to counsel that the accused had been “within the service of” those that had undergone terror coaching.

Nonetheless, Particular Choose Parveen Singh discharged the accused and stated “there isn’t any proof on file on the premise of which such that means could be given to those phrases” and that since there are numerous interpretations, the NIA’s interpretation can’t be accepted.

On the phrase “ghee” within the messages, the courtroom stated Salman is “definitively utilizing sure code the place the phrase ‘ghee’ stands for one thing which isn’t the literal that means of this phrase. Nonetheless, on what foundation the prosecution states that the phrase ‘ghee’ is a code for explosives has not been specified”.

“The cipher on the premise of which this code has been deciphered has additionally not been disclosed earlier than the courtroom. Even the Particular Public Prosecutor in his personal submissions has acknowledged that it might imply explosives or different substances. Subsequently, the phrase ‘ghee’, even in response to the prosecution, couldn’t be taken to solely imply explosives. …thus, on the premise of this message, no grave suspicion could be raised linking accused Mohd. Salman to any terror actions,” the courtroom stated.

Equally on the phrase “khidmat”, the courtroom stated the company has deciphered the phrase to imply “within the service of individuals who’ve undergone terrorist coaching”.

“This could possibly be one that means which could possibly be assigned to this phrase however the literal that means of this phrase is service and it could possibly be any service. Until there are surrounding circumstances or any dialog previous to this sentence or after this sentence which might mirror that use of phrase khidmat on this sentence meant service of individuals who had undergone terrorist coaching, this that means can’t be assigned to this phrase,” the courtroom stated.

The NIA had relied on two prosecution witnesses who alleged that they overheard the accused Mohd Salman speaking to somebody from overseas over the telephone, the place he allegedly stated that he “raised these funds for some particular function”, that “the donor had totally different plans which might be revealed at proper time” and that “sympathisers needs to be recognized who could possibly be related with Salman for doing any sort of work”.

Moreover the telephone messages, the NIA relied on the three phrases utilized by the prosecution witnesses — ‘particular function’, ‘totally different plans’ and ‘any sort of work’ — to allege that the accused was on the lookout for sympathisers to hold out terror actions.

On this, the courtroom stated, “There is no such thing as a proof on file on the premise of which such that means could be given to those phrases… Until there’s proof that there was any hidden that means to those phrases and the stated that means is the one which the prosecution seeks to connect to those phrases, these phrases need to be taken of their literal that means.”

The courtroom agreed that there could also be “some suspicion raised as to what this ‘particular function’ was or what these totally different plans had been. Nonetheless, mere suspicion can’t substitute proof.”

Accused Molani and Salim had been represented by advocates Tanvir Ahmed Mir and Prabhav Ralli, who argued that the NIA was “unable to ascertain that the cash which was acquired was terror fund or proceeds of terrorism”.

The NIA arrested Salim and Salman on September 26, 2018, Molani on January 21, 2019 and Bashir on June 26, 2019.

The NIA had charged the 4 accused underneath IPC Part 120-B (legal conspiracy), and Sections 17 (punishment for elevating funds for the terrorist act), 20 (punishment for being a member of terrorist gang or organisation), and 21 (punishment for holding proceeds of terrorism) of Illegal Actions (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

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