Terror funding case: Delhi HC issues notice to Yasin Malik as NIA seeks death penalty for him

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Delhi, 29 May (CNI) :The Delhi High Court on Monday issued a notice to separatist leader Yasin Malik, who is serving a life term, on a plea by the National Investigation Agency seeking death penalty for him in a terror funding case.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh also issued warrants for production of Malik before it on August 9.

On May 26, the NIA approached the Delhi High Court seeking the death penalty for Malik, asserting that not giving capital punishment to such a “dreaded terrorist” will result in the miscarriage of justice.

The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief was awarded a life term by a trial court in a terror funding case last year. Malik had pleaded guilty to the charges against him, including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Appearing for the NIA, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that not giving the death penalty to Malik on account of him pleading guilty would result in the complete erosion of the sentencing policy, and terrorists would have a way out to avoid capital punishment.

“Accused is pleading guilty very tactfully, If this continues terrorists will plead guilty and escape,” the SG said.

“In view of circumstances and Yasin Malik was the sole respondent in this appeal and he has pleaded guilty under section 121 IPC which provides for alternate death sentence. We issue notice to him in both applications,” the bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh said.

The court issued notice to Malik through the concerned Tihar Jail Superintendent and listed the matter for hearing on August 9.

During the hearing, the bench had an interesting exchange with Mehta when the solicitor general remarked that, “If Osama Bin Laden was tried here, he would have been permitted to plead guilty…”

Justice Mridul replied that Yasin’s case was different as bin Laden had never faced trial anywhere. “We can’t compare this gentleman to Osama Bin Laden because he nowhere stood trial.”

Possibly the US was right,” quipped Meta, to which Justice Mridul replied, “We are not here to comment on foreign relations.”(CNI)

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