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Delhi HC blast: Trial to commence from Monday

October 14, 2012 12:39 IST
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The trial against Wasim Akram Malik, arrested by the National Investigation Agency for his alleged role in the Delhi high court attack last year, will commence in a court in New Delhi on Monday.

District judge H S Sharma, who had framed charges against Malik under the provisions of the stringent anti-terror law and the Indian Penal Code, will start recording the evidence in the case.

The court had paved the way for trial against Malik saying there was prima facie evidence against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Explosive  Substance Act and the IPC for the September 7, 2011 terror attack at the high court's reception in which 15 people were killed and 79 were injured.

The court has framed charges against Malik for offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing hurt) and 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the IPC.

Charges were also framed under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosive Substance Act. The court, however, had declined the NIA's plea to prosecute Malik under the stringent charge of waging war against India saying that merely because an email referring to the release of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru was sent by the accused after the blast, it does not mean that an offence against the state was committed.

The NIA had moved the high court on September 18 against the trial court's order to drop the charge of waging war against India. The high court has issued notice to Malik seeking his response on the NIA's plea.

The court, while framing the charges against Malik, had referred to the statement of Amir Abbas Dev, who was arrested by the NIA for his alleged involvement in the case but had later turned approver and was granted pardon by the judge.

It had also referred to the statements of prosecution witnesses, recorded by the NIA during the probe of the case, and said after perusing the evidence, it has come on record that Malik was in Delhi on June 29 last year and had conducted recce of various areas including that of the high court.

The NIA had filed its charge sheet against six, including Malik, Dev and a minor, besides three others -- Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Sheikh alias Chhota Hafiz, who are suspected members of the banned terror group Hizb-ul Mujahideen and are evading arrest. The minor's case is being adjudicated separately.

The terror attack at the high court was plotted with an aim to get the death sentence of Afzal Guru commuted to life term, the NIA had said.

The charge sheet against the six accused was filed under various sections of the IPC dealing with murder, criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation, attempt to murder, causing grievous hurt and others, besides various offences under the Explosive Act and the UAP Act.

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