New Delhi: A Special Delhi Court on Thursday granted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) an extension of the investigation period in which human rights activist Khurram Parvez and two others were arrested in a terror funding case in Kashmir.

Special NIA Judge Praveen Singh on Thursday while allowing the agency's application said, "I find that as the investigation is in progress, the chances of tampering with evidence cannot be ruled out."

"Considering all these facts and circumstances and considering the facts stated in PP report, many of which cannot be disclosed, I find that it is a fit case where further extension for the period of investigation as demanded should be granted. The application at hand is accordingly allowed. The detention of accused persons, namely, Muneer Ahmad Kataria, Arshid Ahmad Tonch and Khurram Parvez for the purpose of investigation, is extended for a further period of 50 days," Court said.

NIA in its application stated that Pakistan-based proscribed terrorist organization Lashkar-E-Taiba (LeT), which is engaged in waging war against the Government of India, has established a widespread network of operatives/overground workers for providing support in planning and execution of its terrorist activities in various parts of India.

The application further stated that accused Muneer Ahmad Chowdhary, Arshid Ahmad Tonch and Jaffar have been running a network of overground workers of LeT and recruited persons across the various states of India.

In pursuance to conspiracy, the accused are in contact with their foreign-based handlers and upon their directions are engaged in gathering intelligence on vital installations, security forces as well as identification of target locations for the launching of terrorist attacks. It is further submitted that during the investigation, searches were conducted at various places across Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal and incriminating documents and materials and objects were seized, said NIA.

It is further submitted by NIA that during the course of the investigation, accused Muneer Ahmad Kataria, Arshid Ahmad Tonch, Khurram Parvez, Zaffar Baas, Rambhawan Prasad and Chandan Mahato were arrested.

According to NIA, the investigation has revealed that certain official secret document of NIA was shared by accused Arvind Digvijay Negi with accused Muneer Ahmad Kataria through encrypted communication channels. It is further submitted that accused Muneer, Khurram and Arshid were taken into police custody and accused Arvind Digvijay Negi was also taken into police custody.

During custodial interrogation, these accused were subjected to sustained interrogation. A total of 71 seized exhibits were forwarded to CERT-In and 21 digital gadgets to C-DAC Trivandrum for forensic analysis. The examination of 48 digital devices are yet to be received from the CERT-In.

NIA further submitted that investigation is continuing against a number of suspects including the aforesaid accused on a number of aspects which will not be possible to conclude within the period of 130 days.

Advocates Tanveer Ahmad Mir and Prabhav Ralli appeared for accused Khurram Parvez. Advocate Vaibhav Mishra, for accused Arshid Ahmad Tonch. Senior Advocate Trideep Pais with advocates Sanya Kumar and Priya Vats appeared for accused Muneer Ahmad Kataria. Advocate Rahul Tyagi, Special Public Prosecutor represented NIA in the court.

Lawyers for the accused opposed the NIA plea and said this is in clear violation of the accused's right under Article 21 of the Constitution and submitted that when the last extension was granted, the court itself had observed that blanket extension of 90 days cannot be granted and if the investigating agency speeds up its investigation, it may be possible to conclude the investigation earlier.

In this case, NIA Court recently sent IPS officer Arvind Digvijay Negi for Judicial Custody, arrested for allegedly leaking secret documents to an over ground worker of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group.