New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed Tihar Jail Authority to produce JKLF chief Yasin Malik through video conferencing (VC) due to security reasons.
The Court direction came during the hearing National Investigation Agency (NIA) appeal seeking appeal for capital punishment or death penalty for Yasin Malik in a terror funding case.
The bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna on Tuesday deferred the hearing on appeal for Febuary 14 noted that Yasin Malik was not produced through VC before the court today.
On last date of hearing, Tihar Jail Authority sought modification of the court’s earlier order directing the physical presence of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik in the Delhi High Court.
The predecessor bench while allowed Tihar’s plea, had noted that the President of India has in the excercise of powers conferred under CRPC and after carefully examining the material on the record and having regard to the kind of offences that Yasin Malik has been accused of, he shall not be moved from Tihar Jail and taken out of the NCT of Delhi for a period of one year or till the completion of trial.
In that view of the matter the order is modified to the extent that the Jail Superintendent is directed to produce Yasin Malik in the present appeal through Video Conferencing, said the Court.
The Delhi High Court in its earlier order, while hearing the NIA appeal for capital punishment or death penalty for Yasin Malik in the terror funding case, had issued a warrant for Yasin Malik to be present before the court on the next date of hearing.
Tihar in its application stated that Yasin Malik has been lodged in the Tihar Jail, New Delhi under the category of very high-risk prisoners and thus, the present application is in relation to a heavy security issue.
Therefore, it is imperative that Convict Yasin Malik is not physically produced before this Court in order to maintain public order and safety. He should be allowed to join the proceedings through Video Conferencing, the NIA said.
The Delhi High Court on May 29, 2023, issued notice to Yasin Malik on an NIA appeal seeking capital/death penalty for him (Yasin Malik) in a terror funding case. NIA argued that it is a “rarest of rare” case.
The Trial Court last year awarded life imprisonment to Yasin Malik in a terror funding case. The Division Bench of Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh after noting down the submissions made, issued notice to Yasin Malik through Jail superintendent as Yasin Malik is lodged in Tihar Jail. He is the sole respondent in the appeal, noted the court.
Meanwhile, the bench had also issued a production warrant for Yasin Malik to be present before the Court.
Appearing for NIA, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that Yasin Malik is responsible for killing four IAF personnel and kidnapping Rubaiya Sayeed. He also submitted that four terrorists, who were released after the kidnapping masterminded the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for NIA and submitted that the accused Malik crossed over to Pakistan in the 1980s to receive training in handling weapons. ISI helped him to become head of JKLF.
NIA in its appeal submitted that if such dreaded terrorists are not given capital punishment only on the ground that they have pleaded guilty, then the same will result in complete erosion of the sentencing policy of the country and will result in the creation of a device, whereby, such dreaded terrorist after indulging, waging and spearheading an “act of war against the state”, in case caught, would have a way out to avoid capital punishment.
NIA in its appeal also stated that the crime committed by such dreaded terrorists, where due to their ‘act of war’, the nation has lost its valuable soldiers and has perpetrated irreparable grief not only to the family members of the soldiers but to the entire nation.
NIA stated that the respondent/accused over decades has been indulging and spearheading terrorist activities in the valley and with the help of dreaded foreign terrorist organisations, having interest inimical to India, has been masterminding, planning, engineering and executing armed rebellion in the valley in an attempt to usurp the sovereignty and integrity of a part of India.
Earlier on May 25, 2022, the trial court Judge while sentencing life imprisonment to JKLF leader Yasin Malik in the terror funding case said, in my opinion, there was no reformation of this convict. It may be correct that the convict may have given up the gun in the year 1994, but he had never expressed any regret for the violence he had committed prior to the year 1994.
The NIA charge sheet submitted in the case stated that the Central Government received credible information that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Amir of Jammat-ud-Dawah and the secessionist and separatist leaders including the members of Hurriyat Conference have been acting in connivance with active militants of proscribed terrorist organizations like HM, LeT etc. for raising, receiving and collecting funds domestically and abroad through various illegal channels including hawala.
The NIA also stated before the court that this has been done for funding separatist and terrorist activities in J-K and as such, they have entered into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in the valley by way of pelting stones at security forces, systematically burning schools, damage to public property and waging war against India.