High Court Halts Trial Court’s Directive to Delhi Police Regarding Furnishing FIR Copy to Neelam Azad in Parliament Security Breach Case

Justice Sharma stayed the order till the next date of hearing, which is January 4, 2024.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed a trial court’s order directing Delhi Police to supply a copy of the FIR in the December 13 Parliament security breach case to accused Neelam Azad.

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A bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma issued notice to the accused on the police’s plea challenging Additional Sessions Judge Hardeep Kaur of Patiala House Courts’ Thursday order.

Justice Sharma stayed the order till the next date of hearing, which is January 4, 2024.

Counsel for the police argued that in such sensitive matters, the accused ideally has to approach the Commissioner first, who will form a committee to decide the application for providing a copy of the FIR. Only if and when it is denied, they can move the court for relief, the court was told.

“However, the trial court erred in directing the police to provide the FIR copy to the accused,” police counsel said.

The trial court’s order came in response to Azad’s application seeking permission to provide a copy of the FIR. Police had argued before trial court that every piece of information is crucial at this stage of the investigation, and any potential leakage could significantly impact the ongoing process.

The judge, however, directed police to furnish an FIR copy and also permitted Azad to interact with her counsel every alternative day for 15 minutes, observing that Azad is entitled to legal assistance.

On Thursday, the trial court extended till January 5 the police custody of four accused persons in the case — Sagar Sharma, Manoranjan D, Azad, and Amol Shinde.

The four accused were presented before court on expiry of their previously granted seven-day police custody after they were arrested on December 13. The Delhi Police told the court that the accused in the case were “hardened criminals”, consistently altering their statements.

Delhi Police have registered an FIR under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against the accused and are investigating the security lapse issue, too.The police had informed the court that they have included Sections 16 (terrorism) and 18 (conspiracy for terrorism) of the UAPA in the charges against the accused.

The case revolves around a major security breach on the 22nd anniversary of the 2001 Parliament terror attack, where two of the accused jumped onto the floor of the Lok Sabha, released yellow gas, and shouted slogans before being subdued by MPs.

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