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Delhi court acquits terror accused due to police lapses

January 22, 2009 20:02 IST

In an embarrassment to the Delhi [Images] police, a court here on Thursday acquitted an alleged militant of Hizb-e-Islami as the probe agency failed to take mandatory sanction for his prosecution on charges of waging war against the country.

Additional Sessions Judge R K Jain absolved Ayaz Ahmed Shah, a Kashmir resident, who was arrested allegedly with 3.6 kilograms of explosives and Rs 3 lakh in 2004, of the grave charges of waging war against India, collecting arms with such intention and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

It also freed him of all the charges under the Explosives Substance Act giving him the benefit of lapses committed on the part of officers of the Delhi police's anti-terrorist squad, Special Cell.

"It appears that the officers of the Special Cell were not vigilant enough in procuring the required sanction and treated the present case as an ordinary one under the Arms Act and that has resulted in all the lapses which are apparent on records," the court noted.

"In any case, the benefit of all these lapses has to be given to the accused. Accordingly, I acquit the accused for the offences he is charged with," the court announced.

During the final arguments in the case, M S Khan, counsel for the accused, dubbed the trial in the case was illegal as the police had taken the sanction of central government for prosecution of him, a day after the court took cognizance of the charges against him.

According to Section 196 of the CrPC, he submitted that no court shall take cognisance of the charge of waging a war without the sanction from the central government.

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