A Delhi court on February 18 granted bail to an accused in the Pulwama terror attack case as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) failed to file the charge-sheet within the prescribed statutory period. In his order, Special NIA Judge Parveen Singh observed that Yusuf Chopan was entitled to statutory bail.
The court asked Chopan to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety bond of the like amount.
In his application for bail, Chopan had pointed out that he had been in custody for 180 days and the probe agency had not yet filed the charge-sheet despite the time it was given was elapsed on February 11, 2020.
The NIA admitted that it couldn't submit the charge-sheet due to the “want of sufficient evidence”, and said further probe was being conducted in the case.
However, the court rejected the NIA's contention and granted bail to Chopan with certain conditions, including that he shall join the investigation and attend the court whenever required in accordance with the conditions of the bond executed by him.
The court also directed him not to commit any similar offence and shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case nor tamper with the evidence.
Chopan is suspected to have provided logistical support to the terrorists who carried out the attack and the bail granted to him is seen as a major setback to the Centre and security agencies.
The Congress on Thursday slammed the NIA for its "lacklustre approach" to the case and said it was an insult to the Pulwama martyrs.
"Shocked to know that the Pulwama accused got bail because the NIA is so busy that it failed to file the charge-sheet," said senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
Forty personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a terror attack orchestrated by the Jaish-e-Mohammed in South Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, 2019.
The incident took place when a CRPF convoy, consisting of around 2,500 personnel, was attacked by a suicide bomber who rammed a car laden with explosives into one of the buses on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Twelve days after the attack, India carried out air strikes at Balakot, inside Pakistan, destroying a major terror camp of the JeM and killing over 250 terrorists.