NIA last November booked Dr Naik under charges of inciting youth to take up terrorism and hate speech.
Mumbai: The National Investi-gation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against controversial Islamic preacher, Dr Zakir Naik.
The chargesheet has been filed against Dr Naik; the NGO run by him called Islamic Research Foundation (IRF); and a company Harmony Media Private Ltd (HMPL) also controlled by him. Advocate Anand Sukhdev first filed an application before special NIA judge, V.P. Avhad, seeking permission to file the charge-sheet. The judge initially asked advocate Sukhdev if any agency needed the court’s permission to file a chargesheet, to which, advocate Sukhdev replied that this was the procedure adopted by NIA. After going through the documents submitted by advocate Sukhdev, the judge allowed him to file the charge-sheet.
Though advocates Amin Solkar and Mubin Solkar, on behalf of Dr Naik, argued before the court that as per Code of Criminal Procedure, a chargesheet cannot be filed against any accused who is not before the court, unless any co-accused is before the court. They requested the court to direct NIA to share a copy of its application with them and to issue notice to them before making any such application before the court as they were representing Dr Naik in the case. However, the judge told them that he would consider their application later because the accused was absconding and NIA could not issue notice of share application with anybody in current circumstances.
NIA last November booked Dr Naik under charges of inciting youth to take up terrorism and hate speech. Dr Naik, who is currently abroad, is being probed by NIA under terror and money-laundering charges. He fled India on July 1, 2016, amidst claims that a few members of a Bangladesh-based terror group had been allegedly inspired by his speeches.
According to NIA, during the investigation it was found that through his public speeches, Dr Naik deliberately and maliciously insulted the religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims. The agency also claimed that IRF and HMPL had been instrumental in maximum circulation of such incriminating speeches in the form of CDs/DVDs/TV programmes.