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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
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Cooked Pota(To)

The Afroze case, the first under POTO in Maharashtra, collapses

Cooked Pota(To)
Atul Loke
Cooked Pota(To)
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The bungling of the Afroze case by the Mumbai police has resulted in a "loss of face" and withdrawal of the very first case booked under POTO in Maharashtra. Barely a month after the police hastily slapped the anti-terrorism ordinance on 26-year-old Mohammad Afroze, they suddenly withdrew the charge on March 26. Two weeks later, the man accused of being an Al Qaeda operative and allegedly part of a team despatched to fly an aircraft into the House of Commons in London on September 11, 2001, was released on bail after six months in custody. By April 9, the police had diluted the chargesheet. Afroze will now be booked under the Indian Penal Code.

Many see the Afroze case as a classic example of how the authorities can jump the gun when there is an ordinance or act which gives it sweeping powers. In hindsight, it's clear that the Mumbai police's application of POTO was an ill-advised move. Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor handling the case, himself admitted that the ordinance, which was promulgated in October 2001, could not have been applied to alleged crimes committed...
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