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SC stays death sentence of Red Fort attack case convict
December 03, 2007 19:33 IST
Last Updated: December 03, 2007 21:02 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of the death sentence awarded to Pakistani national and Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Mohammad Afshaq for the Red Fort [Images] attack in which three persons were killed in December 2000.
A bench of Justices G P Mathur and P Sathasivam issued a notice to the Delhi police on the petition filed by Ashfaq challenging the judgement of the Delhi High Court which confirmed the trial court verdict awarding him capital punishment.
The High Court had set aside the conviction of six others, including Ashfaq's Indian wife Rehamana Yosuf Farooqui and Srinagar-based father-and-son duo Nazir Ahmed Qasid and Farooq Ahmed Qasid, who were earlier sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court.
It had upheld the trial court findings holding Ashfaq guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy, cheating under the Indian Penal Code and under various provisions of the Explosives Act and Foreigners' Act.
Six terrorists had stormed the Red Fort on December 22, 2000 and opened fire, killing three persons. The army personnel present in the fort had retaliated, but the terrorists managed to escape.
"Death sentence is the only appropriate punishment, which Mohd Ashfaq deserves and has been rightly sentenced to death by the trial court and we have no hesitation in affirming that sentence," the High Court had said.
"In case the death sentence is not awarded to these kinds of terrorists who have no value for human lives and they are not bothered even for their own lives while indulging in these kinds of terrorist activities, the conscience of the entire community would be shocked," the High Court had observed in its September 13 verdict, dismissing Ashfaq's appeal against the conviction.
"This can definitely be said to be a case falling in the category of rarest of rare cases, where the extreme penalty of death only would serve the ends of justice," it had said, rejecting the plea that Ashfaq's sentence be remitted to life term.