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NIA Moves Delhi High Court for Death Penalty to Yasin Malik in Terror Funding Case

By Lawstreet News Network Lawstreet News Network      May 27, 2023      0 Comments      1,178 Views
NIA Moves Delhi High Court for Death Penalty to Yasin Malik in Terror Funding Case

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency has filed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking death penalty for militant and separatist leader Yasin Malik, who was awarded life term by a trial court here in a terror funding case.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh is scheduled to take up the matter for hearing on May 29.

On May 25, 2022, a Delhi court had sentenced Malik, Jammu and Kashmir separatist leader and chief of banned outfit JKLF to life imprisonment in the case related to terror activities and funding, saying he was convicted of crimes of very serious nature, intended to strike at the heart of the idea of India and to forcefully secede J&K.

"The crime becomes more serious as it was committed with the assistance of foreign powers and designated terrorists. The seriousness is further increased by the fact that it was committed behind the smoke screen of an alleged peaceful political movement," the court had said.

The court had then rejected the NIA's plea for the death penalty, saying the case did not fall in the category of 'rarest of rare' cases.

The court had handed down separate sentences, besides fine of over Rs 10 lakh, for various offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code. All the sentences were ordered to be run concurrently.

The court had also said it is high time that it is recognised that terror funding is one of the gravest offences and has to be punished more severely. 

The court had earlier on May 19, 2022 convicted him in the case after he had on May 10, 2022 pleaded guilty of the charges. The court had twice given him opportunity to re-think his decision to admit the grave charges.

During the arguments on quantum of sentence, the National Investigation Agency had sought death penalty against Malik.

For his part, Malik claimed he has followed principles of Mahatma Gandhi after 1994 since he laid down the arms. With regard to demand for the death penalty, he said he would not beg for anything and the case is before the court to decide.

The judge, however, said, "The convict has claimed that he had followed Gandhian principle of non violence and was spearheading a  peaceful non violent struggle...The entire movement was planned to be a violent movement and large scale violence ensued is a matter of fact. Despite large scale of violence engulfing the valley neither (he) condemned the violence nor withdrew his calendar of protest which had led to the said violence."

The court also noted there was a conspiracy for an attempted insurrection by instigating, stone pelting and arson and a very large scale violence for shutting down of the government machinery and ultimate secession of J&K.

Earlier, Malik alias Aslam was convicted for the offences punishable under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) IPC, 121 (waging or attempting war) IPC, 121A (conspiracy to commit war) IPC, 13 (unlawful activities) UAPA r/w 120B IPC, 15 (terrorist act) UAPA r/w 120B IPC, 17 (raising funds for terrorist activities) UAPA, 18 (conspiracy) UAPA, 20 (member of terrorist gang) UAPA, 38 (punishment of member of terrorist gan) UAPA and 39 (support to terrorist organisation) UAPA.

Other co-accused Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, Md Yusuf Shah, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Md Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rashid Sheikh and Naval Kishore Kapoor had contested the charges and expressed their readiness to face trial in the case.

The NIA had on May 30, 2017 lodged the case related to raising, receiving and collecting funds domestically and abroad through various illegal channels including hawala for funding terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The agency filed the charge sheet in the matter on January 18, 2018.

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