The Government today denied that a large number of innocent Muslim youths were in jails on fake terror charges.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha about whether a large number of innocent Muslim youths are in jails on fake terror charges, Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said “no”.
“The data of undertrial prisoners is maintained by the state governments since public order and police are state subjects as per the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India. At the level of central government, the cases relating to terrorist acts are investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA),” he said.
The Minister said during the last 10 months, five cases of NIA have been decided by different NIA special courts, wherein 43 accused have been convicted and 30 acquitted.
“The NIA is in the process of filing appeals on a case-to- case basis against the acquittal. There are adequate constitutional and statutory provisions available to all persons including those who are accused of any offence including terrorism to seek legal remedies,” he said.
The Minister said every action of the investigation agency is subject to court and legal scrutiny–including the issue of bail, conviction and sentencing.
“The acquittals by the courts are also an outcome of a free and fair trial. The law enables the courts at the conclusion of trial, if it results in an acquittal, to pass strictures on the nature and quality of the investigation and evidence collected,” Chaudhary said.
He said in every case, acquittal from charges cannot be considered to prove that innocent persons had been wrongly framed.
“The acquittal by the courts can also be due to lack of sufficient evidence which could prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubt,” he said.
The Minister said security agencies are sensitised from time to time to keep the investigation of terror cases scientific, fair, impartial and transparent, so that no innocent person suffers.