The court quashed certain charges Shah was facing including abetting terrorism, waging war against the country and promoting enmity under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. DC File Image
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has granted bail to Peerzada Fahad Shah, the founding editor of news portal 'The Kashmir Walla'.
The court quashed certain charges Shah was facing including "abetting terrorism, waging war against the country and promoting enmity" under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
35-year-old Shah, was arrested by the police on February 5, 2022 after being accused of "glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news and inciting the general public for creating law and order situations". After obtaining bail in two FIRs, he was arrested in connection with a third one registered at Srinagar 's Safa Kadal police station and subsequently detained under J&K’s tough law Public Safety Act (PSA).
His arrest was widely criticised by national and international organisations working for the freedom of expression and human rights watchdogs.
According to Shah's lawyers, the court quashed charges levelled against him under Section 18 ( abetting the commission of, a terrorist act or any act preparatory to the commission of a terrorist act), Section 121 (waging war) and Section 153-B (promoting enmity between different groups) of the UAPA.
However, he will continue to face trial under Section 13 (incites unlawful activity) of the UAPA and 35, 39 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), which deals with receiving overseas funds in violation of law.
The bail has been given to Shah about seven months after the High Court had quashed his detention under the PSA. The court had said that "the apprehension of an adverse impact to public order is a mere surmise of the detaining authority".
In August this year, the website of 'The Kashmir Walla' was blocked in India under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 by the Government of India.
'The Kashmir Walla' had said that its Facebook page and 'X' accounts have also been blocked in India.