The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Peoples Democratic Party youth wing President Waheed Parra, his party chief Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.

The National Investigation Agency had arrested Parra in November 2020 on allegations of funding terrorist activities. In January last year, Parra was granted bail by an NIA court, but was held by the Jammu and Kashmir Police immediately after his release in another terrorism-related case.

He was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. While in custody, Parra had won the Pulwama-1 seat in Jammu and Kashmir’s District Development Council elections in December 2020.

“Finally after almost two years, Waheed Parra gets bail and I hope he walks out as a free man soon,” Mufti wrote in a tweet on Wednesday, citing a social media post by the youth leader’s lawyer, Shariq Reyaz.

The division bench of the High Court comprising Justices Sanjeev Kumar and VC Koul granted bail to Parra after he challenged a Srinagar court order which had refused to grant him relief in February last year.

“There is no evidence on record which prima facie shows that Parra’s association with terrorist Yousaf Gadoora was with an intention to further the activities of terrorist organisation,” the court observed according to PTI. “The evidence as is gathered by the prosecution is too sketchy to be believed prima facie true, that too, with a view to deny bail to applicant”.

Parra needs to deposit a bail surety amount of Rs 1 lakh, and surrender his passport, the court said. He must also appear before the investigation officer when called and needs the permission of the court before leaving Jammu and Kashmir, PTI reported.

The court also referred to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to put the sedition law on hold.

“Regarding the sedition charges [against Parra] under Section 124A IPC [Indian Penal Code], the issue is governed by the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the case....whereby the Supreme Court has directed that all the pending trials, appeals and proceedings with respect to the charge framed under Section 124-A of IPC shall be kept in abeyance,” the court observed.

On May 11, the Supreme Court put sedition trials on hold and asked the government to refrain from filing new cases under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code while it re-examined the colonial-era provision.

Parra was arrested after his name came up during a terror case investigation related to suspended Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh who was caught with Hizbul Mujahideen militants in January 2020.

According to the National Investigation Agency, Hizbul Mujahideen member Shafi Irfan Mir, who was arrested along with Singh, was allegedly in contact with Parra. Mir has claimed that Parra had asked for his help during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Hindustan Times reported.

Parra was granted bail in January but rearrested by the Crime Investigation Department in Jammu and Kashmir, which is now known as the State Investigation Agency.

“We are relieved to hear that Waheed has finally been granted bail and we hope that he will return to his family soon, “ a Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson told PTI.