The Mumbai crime branch seized a stash of documents, including several bail bonds during a search at the Kalyan residence of the arrested preacher Rizwan Khan on Wednesday night.
While the investigators are trying to ascertain the details of the persons to whom Khan stood as surety, the police are tightlipped about other documents that were seized and are believed to include incriminating papers.
Sources from the police said that Khan was offering legal guidance to the people for whom he stood surety.
Commenting on the matter, a crime branch officer said, “We will now verify the background of the persons for whom the bonds were issued to check if they are related to any of the accused in the radicalisation case registered with the Mumbai police.”
Khan and Islamic Research Foundation’s (IRF) Arshi Qureshi were produced before the Esplanade court on Thursday where the crime branch sought their extended custody. The crime branch on Thursday also appointed advocate Vaibhav Bagade as a special public prosecutor in the case.
Bagade pleaded that the agency needs to verify several details that had come to the fore and also to link several loose ends that came up while Haneef and the others were interrogated individually.
Sources revealed that Khan and Qureshi would be interrogated jointly with Mohammad Haneef, another preacher who was arrested from Kerala. Haneef is currently in judicial custody and the police want to seek further custody.
Meanwhile, defense lawyers Tahwal Pathan for Khan and Abdul Wahab Khan for Qureshi, questioned the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the plea of the prosecution for the custody of the accused. The lawyers pleaded that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had exclusive jurisdiction over the cases registered under UAPA. The prosecution, however, said that there was no such bar for the court to hear the case.
The defense also appealed that the case was also being investigated by the Kerala court and the prosecution in Mumbai would amount to ‘double jeopardy’. The special public prosecutor, however, objected to this and said that there are many separate cases registered against the accused and not giving the city police a chance to investigate them would be harmful, to which the court agreed.