Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told Rajya Sabha that since 2009, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been assigned with 86 terror cases for investigation out of which 11 cases have been partially or fully decided and 28 accused have been convicted and 13 were acquitted.
"However, acquittals in NIA cases have so far been for the reasons of variance in appreciation of strength of evidence by the prosecution and the Presiding Officer of the court and therefore, these acquittals cannot be termed as 'honourable acquittals'," he said. Replying to a written question, the Minister said the Central government does not maintain any data whether a large number of Muslim youth arrested on the charges of terrorism have been 'honourably exonerated' by various courts after the cases were found to be false.
Rijiju said acquittals by court is also an outcome of a free and fair trial but in every case, acquittal from charges cannot be considered to prove that innocent civilians are being wrongly framed.
"The acquittal by the courts may also be because of lack of sufficient evidence which could establish/prove charges beyond all reasonable doubt," he said. Replying a another question, the Minister said there are 270 people who the Central government is providing security on the basis of threat perception. "As regards category-wise details, there are 39 'Z-plus', 71 'Z', 125 'Y' and 35 'X' category protectees," he said.