The Delhi Police had claimed in March this year that with Liyaqat's arrest they had foiled a 'fidayeen' (suicide) attack here ahead of Holi. But the J-K Police had insisted that he was one of those who had ex-filtrated in 1990s and returned to India to surrender under the state's rehabilitation policy.
Supporting his state police, Chief Minister Omar had met Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and had demanded a probe. Omar Abdullah had said "Liyaqat had no intention to carry out any attack as he was returning along with his family members and not carrying any weapons."
The Home Ministry had on March 28 had asked the NIA to take over the case after his arrest had generated conflicting versions from Delhi and J&K Police.
Delhi District Judge I S Mehta said today that "no substantial evidence has come up against the present petitioner till date and the prosecution/NIA has failed to make out a prima facie case against the present petitioner/ accused till date."
"Further, the NIA investigation also confirms the same that there is no substantial linking against the petitioner/ accused being involved in conspiracy to commit terrorist attack on vital installations in Delhi till date," he said.
This is perhaps for the first time that an accused has been granted bail by the court in a case being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote"><p>I'm very glad that <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23LiaqatShah">#LiaqatShah</a> has been granted bail. While this is a big step in the Rt direction I hope the NIA inquiry is finished soon.</p>— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) <a href="https://twitter.com/abdullah_omar/status/335332797080289280">May 17, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Regarding the allegation by the Delhi Police that they had recovered arms and ammunition on the night of March 21-22, 2013 from a guest house in Jama Masjid area here at Liyaqat's instance, the court said it was done in the absence of the accused.
"The alleged recovery from the said room is made in the absence of the accused. The carrying out of the search without the knowledge and in absence of the present petitioner/accused creates doubt of petitioner/accused being involved in terrorist activities," it said.
The court granted him bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of the like amount and also imposed some conditions on him, including that he would not leave the country without its prior permission.
The NIA had opposed Liyaqat's bail plea and had said that their investigation into the case is going on and detailed examination of call records, examination of witnesses and other "allied activities" are going on to conclusively establish the guilt of the accused.
The probe agency, however, had also said that during their investigation till date, no substantial evidence linking Liyaqat with the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorist attack here has been found.
The court granted bail to Liyaqat saying the NIA, which had taken Liyaqat to the Nepal border during its probe, has "reached to the conclusion that there is no linkage of the petitioner/accused's involvement with conspiracy to commit terrorist attack on the vital installations in New Delhi."
Liyaqat was arrested on March 20 by the special cell of Delhi Police while crossing the Indo-Nepal border in Gorakhpur with his family. Delhi Police had alleged that Liyaqat was involved in the conspiracy to carry out terror attacks on vital installations in the capital.