A Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced a Bangladeshi national and his Kashmiri associate belonging to the banned militant organisation Harkat-Ul-Jihad-al-Islami to life imprisonment for possessing explosives and waging war against the country.
Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma sentenced Md Amin Wani, a Jammu and Kashmir resident, and Lutfur Rahman, the Bangladeshi national who is alleged to have received training at the instance of Pakistan-based Jamaat-Ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed to life imprisonment and said they did not deserve capital punishment as the case was not the rarest of rare.
"Keeping in view the unlawful and illegal activities of the convicts, a substantive and stern sentence is required to be imposed upon the convicts so that it is not only in the commensuration with the gravity of crime but also serves as an example for others who might also venture on the same forbidden path," the ASJ said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 7.5 lakh on Rahman and Rs 7 lakh on Wani.
Declining the plea for leniency, the court said 'the convicts do not deserve any leniency except that their life be not taken away lawfully.'
Rejecting the plea of police for death penalty, the court said the offence did not fall in rarest of the rare category.
Both of them were convicted on February 16 for possessing explosives and hawala money in 2007 under the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosive Substances Act.
Public Prosecutor Vinod Kumar Sharma had argued for the capital punishment against Wani and Rahman saying 'the convicts were a threat to the security of the country and wanted to disturb peace by carrying out terror activities.'
However, defence counsel M S Khan had opposed the contention of the prosecution by submitting that the police had created 'false' evidence, like planting of explosives to ensure conviction of the accused.
Wani, 29, was arrested on January 4, 2007 from the Seeshganj Gurudwara in old city area in Delhi by the Delhi Police's Special Cell for possessing Rs 4.5 lakh hawala money.
Rahman, 30, was apprehended from the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in New Delhi with 1.5 Kg explosives and a timer device.
According to police, both the convicts were out in the capital to disrupt the Republic Day function.