The Delhi High Court on Thursday permitted former Popular Front of India (PFI) Chairman E Abubacker, lodged in prison under a UAPA case, to withdraw his plea seeking release on account of ill health.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav allowed the 70-year-old, who was stated to be in “great pain” and in need of medical supervision, to approach the trial court for the relief.
Lawyer Adit Pujari, representing the PFI leader, sought leave to withdraw the plea from high court with liberty to approach the trial court in view of the fact that the NIA has already filed the charge sheet in the matter.
“Leave and liberty granted and we have not expressed any opinion on the matter,” said the court.
During the hearing, the counsel for NIA said Abubacker cannot be released only on medical ground and “merit has to be argued”.
Abubacker was arrested by the anti-terror probe agency during a massive crackdown on the banned organisation last year and is currently in judicial custody.
He filed an appeal before the high court last year challenging a trial court order refusing to release him on medical grounds.
Abubacker’s counsel had earlier submitted he had cancer and also suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He was in “great pain”and needed urgent medical supervision, the counsel had claimed.
The high court had earlier refused to place him under house arrest and said he will be admitted to a hospital for treatment if required.
In February, the high court had directed the Medical Superintendent of Tihar Jail to ensure “efficacious” treatment to Abubacker for his aliments on a regular basis.
The NIA had contended before the court that Abubacker was trying to derail the process of investigation by filing pleas regarding his medical condition simultaneously before the trial court and the high court.
It had said investigation against him was pending and he was getting the best possible medical treatment.