The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a plea by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq for a review of his sentence handing him the death penalty in the sensational attack on the Red Fort in 2000, which killed three army Jawans. perished.
The Supreme Court said nothing has been recorded that could be considered a mitigating circumstance in Arif’s favor and that the fact that there was a “direct attack” on India’s unity, integrity and sovereignty completely outweighs the factors that even could be even remotely. taken into account as mitigating circumstances.
Addressing the issue raised by the petitioner that the concerned courts erred in allowing telephone conversations to be admitted as evidence in the absence of an appropriate certificate under Section 65-B of the Indian Evidence Act, a bank led by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said the other recorded circumstances clearly describe and prove beyond any doubt his involvement in the crime.
The court, which also includes Judges SR Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, said it was generally accepted that the cumulative effect of the aggravating factors and mitigating circumstances should be taken into account before the death penalty is handed down.
“To come back to the present case, nothing has been recorded that could be considered a mitigating circumstance in favor of the reviewer. The suggestion that there is a possibility of retaliation and rehabilitation is not made by and supported by any material on the record,” it said.
“On the other hand, the aggravating circumstances revealed in the file, and in particular the fact that there was a direct attack on India’s unity, integrity and sovereignty, completely outweigh the factors that could even remotely be regarded as mitigating circumstances. be taken into account.” the bank said in its 40-page opinion.
According to the prosecution, on the night of December 22, 2000, some intruders entered the area where the Indian Army unit of 7 Rajputana rifles was stationed at the Red Fort.
Police had said that the shooting opened by the invaders, who then left by climbing the back wall of the Red Fort, killed three army jawans.
Arif was sentenced to death by a court in October 2005 and the Delhi High Court had confirmed the court’s position in September 2007.
He then approached the highest court to challenge the Supreme Court ruling. The highest court had upheld the death sentence imposed on Arif in August 2011.
His review request later came before a two-judge court of the highest court, which rejected it in August 2012. The curative request was also rejected in January 2014.
He then petitioned for review requests in cases arising from the death penalty to be heard by a bench of three judges and in open court.
A Supreme Court constitutional bench had concluded in its September 2014 ruling that in all cases where the death penalty was handed down by the Supreme Court, such cases are submitted to a bench of three judges.
Before the September 2014 verdict, the review and curative petitions of death row inmates were not heard in public courts, but were decided in chambers by means of circulation.
In January 2016, a constitutional bench ruled that Arif would have the right to reopen the rejection of the review requests before a public trial within a month.
In its ruling on Thursday, the highest court noted that the challenge has been raised mainly on four grounds, including that any possibility of retaliation and rehabilitation of the review petitioner or that he would continue to pose a threat to society was not considered by the courts.
It said one of the grounds advanced by Arif was that his disclosure statements should be declared inadmissible because of the ill-treatment inflicted on him during the intervening night between his actual arrest and his formal arrest.
The bank noted that Arif’s counsel’s fundamental argument was about the admissibility of electronic data as call data records (CDRs).
The Supreme Court referred to some previous Supreme Court rulings, including the issue of the admissibility of call records without an appropriate certificate under Section 65-B(4) of the Evidence Act.
In conclusion, therefore, it should be noted that even after avoiding the circumstances ‘h’ and ‘j’ that were directly attributable to the CDRs relied on by the Prosecutor, the other recorded circumstances clearly describe the involvement and prove beyond doubt of the review petitioner in the crime in question,” it said.
The bank said the disclosure statement was deemed to be proven by the courts in the case and that it would not be possible in the reviewing jurisdiction to question the admissibility of such a disclosure statement on matters of fact.
It said the disclosure statement led the police to hide here and when the police team arrived with Arif, the police were fired upon and after an Abu Shamal alias Faisal was killed in the encounter, certain firearms and ammunition were recovered.
“The claim that such a return of ammunition or the Abu Shamal meeting could not be associated with the disclosure statement of the reviewer is not entirely correct,” the supreme court said.
“As a result, we find no merit in the immediate review petitions, which are accordingly rejected,” it said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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