NIA allows Engineer Rashid to take oath as Member of Parliament; court to rule tomorrow

    The Hawk
    July1/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Rashid, who won the Baramulla constituency in the Lok Sabha elections while in custody, awaits the Patiala House Court's decision on his interim bail plea.

    Engineer Rashid

    New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday gave its consent to permit jailed Kashmiri leader Abdul Rashid Sheikh also known as Engineer Rashid, from Baramulla to take oath as an MP on July 5 in Parliament.
    However, counsel representing the NIA said in court today said that the consent should be subject to certain conditions, which includes him not interacting with the media.
    Rashid had won the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections from the Baramulla consituency in Jammu and Kashmir was unable to take oath during the official ceremony in the 18th Lok Sabha.
    He won the elections from Baramulla while he was in custody in an NIA case. Rashid had sought interim bail or custody parole for taking oath as a Lok Sabha MP.
    The Patiala House Court's special judge Chander Jit Singh will pass an order on Rashid's bail plea tomorrow.
    Engineer Rashid had sought interim bail or custody parole to take oath as an MP.
    He has been in custody for the last five years in a terror funding case lodged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He defeated former chief minster Omar Abdullah from the Baramulla in the recent general elections.

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    The counsel for NIA suggested three dates from July 5 to 7 for Rashid to take oath on any of these dates.
    Defence counsel Vikhyat Oberoi said that July 5 is okay as July 6 and 7 are holidays.
    His counsel also urged the court to allow Rashid to obtain his Identity card and CGHS card and to facilitate him to open a bank account.
    The counsel has also urged the court to permit the presence of family members at the time of taking oath as an MP.
    The court of vacation judge on June 22 granted time to file reply on the application of MP Engineer Rashid.
    On June 22, counsel for NIA sought some time to file a reply citing it as a matter under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
    Advocate Vikhyat Oberoi appeared for Rashid and argued that the latter had won with a huge majority and people love him and want him to fight in parliament democratically.
    The court may direct the jail authorities to contact to Loksabha Secretariat, direct the NIA to contact to Loksabha Secretariat, or direct the Loksabha Secretariat to specify the date to which Rashid may take oath, the counsel argued.
    He also referred to the order of Rouse Avenue court and Patna High Court in which the jail authorities were directed to take the accused to take oath.
    On June 18, Delhi's Patiala House court had directed the NIA to apprise it on which out of the three dates Rashid will take the oath. It granted time to NIA to file a reply.
    The scheduled dates to take oath by newly elected MPs were given as June 24, 25, 26.

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    NIA had sought time to work out the modalities to take him to parliament if he is granted bail.
    However, the defence counsel relied on the order passed by the Rouse Avenue court passed in Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh's case. He also said that Engineer is in the court custody. Therefore NIA has no role in taking him to Parliament.
    Rashid subsequently approached the court seeking bail for taking oath as MP.
    On June 5, ASJ Singh had sought a response from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case.
    His counsel Advocate Vikhyat Oberoi told ANI that an application seeking interim bail and in alternative custody parole, to take oath and perform other parliamentary functions had been filed.
    The matter was taken up by the court and listed for reply by NIA, said Oberoi.
    Oberoi also said that Rashid is a two time MLA also. Now he has to take oath as an MP after winning the election. The date for oath ceremony is not yet declared.