Delhi High Court issues notice to Yasin Malik in response to NIA’s plea for death penalty

29 May, 2023 | Nishtha Gupta

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Delhi High Court sent a notification to the banned group Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, headed by Yasin Malik, in response to an appeal filed by NIA.

On Monday, the Delhi High Court sent a notification to the banned group Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), headed by Yasin Malik, in response to an appeal filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA is seeking the death penalty for Yasin Malik’s alleged role in a case related to terror funding.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) argued that the case involving Yasin Malik, a separatist leader from Jammu and Kashmir, is an extremely rare and exceptional one. Last year, the Trial Court sentenced Yasin Malik to life imprisonment in connection with a terror funding case.

In response to the submissions made, the Division Bench consisting of Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh issued a notice to Yasin Malik, who is currently held in Tihar Jail, through the Jail superintendent. Yasin Malik is the sole respondent in the appeal, as stated by the court.

Furthermore, the bench also issued a production warrant for Yasin Malik, requiring his presence in court on the next hearing date, which is scheduled for August 9, 2023.

The court also provided notice regarding the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) request for condonation of delay in filing the appeal. Additionally, the court summoned the trial court records related to the case.

During the submissions, the Solicitor General tactfully admitted guilt on behalf of the accused. In response, the Delhi High Court bench remarked, acknowledging that it is the Constitutional right of the accused. Following this, Solicitor General Mehta stated that if Osama Bin Laden were present before the court, he would receive the same treatment. The High Court pointed out that Bin Laden never faced trial anywhere.

The Solicitor General then commented, suggesting that perhaps the United States was correct in its actions. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the NIA, stated that Yasin Malik is accountable for the killing of four Indian Air Force personnel and the abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed. He further argued that four terrorists who were released after the said kidnapping went on to orchestrate the 26/11 Bombay attacks.

During the proceedings, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the NIA, asserted that the accused Yasin Malik had crossed the border into Pakistan during the 1980s to undergo weapons training. He also mentioned that the ISI had played a role in elevating him to the position of the head of JKLF.

The NIA, in its appeal, argued that if dangerous terrorists like Yasin Malik are not given the death penalty solely because they have pleaded guilty, it would undermine the sentencing policy of the country. This could create a situation where such notorious terrorists, after instigating acts of war against the state, would have a means to evade capital punishment if apprehended, thereby weakening the justice system.

In its appeal, the NIA emphasized that the crimes committed by these dangerous terrorists can be characterized as acts of war, causing significant loss to the nation in terms of valuable soldiers and inflicting immeasurable grief upon the families of the victims and the entire nation.

According to the NIA, the accused has been actively involved in terrorist activities in the region for several decades, spearheading and orchestrating armed rebellions with the assistance of foreign terrorist organizations that hold hostile intentions towards India. The aim of these activities has been to undermine the sovereignty and integrity of a specific part of India, particularly the valley.

The NIA further argued that the offences committed by the accused clearly demonstrate acts of external aggression, meticulously planned and executed as acts of waging war against the nation. These actions have led to internal disturbances by employing trained armed militias within the state and facilitating the infiltration of trained terrorists from enemy states across India’s borders, thereby exacerbating internal conflicts.

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