The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respond to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali’s plea challenging the rejection of his bail plea by a trial court in a terror funding case.

A bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel listed the matter for August 21.

Watali has challenged the trial court’s June 8 order to reject Watali’s bail plea.

Watali, arrested on August 17 last year, was charge-sheeted by NIA on January 18 along with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others in a case of alleged terror funding in the Kashmir Valley.

They were charge-sheeted under stringent anti-terror laws for hatching a conspiracy with Saeed and Salahuddin to wage a war against India to secede Jammu and Kashmir.

The separatists, who were arrested on July 24, 2017, are Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.

Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. Islam is an aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.