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Navjot Sandhu's bail plea dismissed

February 03, 2003 18:35 IST

A Delhi high court bench comprising Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nanrajog on Monday dismissed the bail application of Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru, the lone woman convicted in the December 13, 2001, Parliament attack case.

Sandhu was awarded a sentence of five years for not disclosing the conspiracy to attack Parliament.

The court also admitted an appeal by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Mohammed Afzal, challenging his conviction and death penalty in the case.

Last week, the terrorist's appeal had not been admitted by the court as the prosecution raised technical objections. The jail authorities brought Afzal to the court on Monday after he was granted permission last week.

But the court did not allow Afzal's counsel's request to present him during the arguments henceforth.

The appeals of the accused will come up for hearing along with the reference from the trial court to confirm the death penalty awarded to Afzal, Shaukat Hussain Guru, and S A R Geelani.

In the meantime, the court said all the appeals and references would be heard together after the paper book of the case is prepared.

Nitya Ramakrishnan, counsel for Sandhu, had sought bail for her client on the grounds that she had been convicted on the basis of inadmissible evidence. She also sought bail on the grounds that Sandhu wasn't keeping good health and her baby, which was born in jail, needs to be brought up in a good environment.

The counsel argued that the confessional statement of Sandhu's husband Shaukat, which said that she was aware of the conspiracy, was inadmissible under the Evidence Act.

Delhi police counsel Mukta Gupta, however, opposed Sandhu's plea for bail and suspension of her sentence, saying the prosecution had already filed an appeal for awarding her maximum sentence.

Gupta said an appeal challenging Sandhu's acquittal in the offence, in which the other three accused have been convicted, has also been filed.

The prosecution said Sandhu had been provided regular treatment for acute psychosis by the jail authorities and she had been responding well to treatment.

PTI


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