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State v Navjot Sandhu - Afzal Guru Supreme Court Judgment

State v Navjot Sandhu - Afzal Guru Supreme Court Judgment

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Published by Midhun Kumar Allu
Afzal Guru Supreme Court Judgment confirming his death sentence.
Afzal Guru Supreme Court Judgment confirming his death sentence.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Midhun Kumar Allu on Feb 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CASE NO.:Appeal (crl.) 373-375 of 2004PETITIONER:STATE (N.C.T. OF DELHI)RESPONDENT:NAVJOT SANDHU@ AFSAN GURUDATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/08/2005BENCH:P. VENKATARAMA REDDI & P.P. NAOLEKARJUDGMENT:JUDGMENTWITHCRIMINAL APPEAL Nos. 376-378 OF 2004STATE (N.C.T. OF DELHI) \005 APPELLANTVERSUSSYED ABDUL REHMAN GILANI \005 RESPONDENTCRIMINAL APPEAL Nos. 379-380 OF 2004SHAUKAT HUSSAIN GURU \005 APPELLANTVERSUSSTATE (N.C.T. OF DELHI) \005 RESPONDENTCRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 381 OF 2004MOHD. AFZAL \005 APPELLANTVERSUSSTATE (N.C.T. OF DELHI)P. VENKATARAMA REDDI, J.1. The genesis of this case lies in a macabre incident that took placeclose to the noon time on 13th December, 2001 in which five heavily armedpersons practically stormed the Parliament House complex and inflicted heavycasualties on the security men on duty. This unprecedented event bewilderedthe entire nation and sent shock waves across the globe. In the gun battle thatlasted for 30 minutes or so, these five terrorists who tried to gain entry intothe Parliament when it was in session, were killed. Nine persons including eightsecurity personnel and one gardener succumbed to the bullets of the terroristsand 16 persons including 13 security men received injuries. The five terroristswere ultimately killed and their abortive attempt to lay a seize of theParliament House thus came to an end, triggering off extensive and effectiveinvestigations spread over a short span of 17 days which revealed the possibleinvolvement of the four accused persons who are either appellants orrespondents herein and some other proclaimed offenders said to be the leadersof the banned militant organization known as "Jaish-E-Mohammed". After theconclusion of investigation, the investigating agency filed the report underSection 173 Cr.P.C. against the four accused persons on 14.5.2002. Chargeswere framed under various sections of Indian Penal Code (for short ’IPC’), thePrevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as ’POTA’) and theExplosive Substances Act by the designated Court. The designated SpecialCourt presided over by Shri S.N. Dhingra tried the accused on the charges andthe trial concluded within a record period of about six months. 80 witnesses
were examined for the prosecution and 10 witnesses were examined on behalfof the accused S.A.R. Gilani. Plethora of documents (about 330 in number)were exhibited. The three accused, namely, Mohd. Afzal, Shaukat HussainGuru and S.A.R. Gilani were convicted for the offences under Sections 121,121A, 122, Section 120B read with Sections 302 & 307 read with Section 120-B IPC, sub-Sections (2), (3) & (5) of Section 3 and Section 4(b) of POTA andSections 3 & 4 of Explosive Substances Act. The accused 1 & 2 were alsoconvicted under Section 3(4) of POTA. Accused No.4 namely Navjot Sandhu @Afsan Guru was acquitted of all the charges except the one under Section 123IPC for which she was convicted and sentenced to undergo R.I. for five yearsand to pay fine. Death sentences were imposed on the other three accused forthe offence under Section 302 read with Section 120-B IPC (it would be moreappropriate to say\027 Section 120-B read with Section 302 IPC) and Section3(2) of POTA. They were also sentenced to life imprisonment on as many aseight counts under the provisions of IPC, POTA and Explosive Substances Act inaddition to varying amounts of fine. The amount of Rs.10 lakhs, which wasrecovered from the possession of two of the accused, namely, Mohd. Afzal andShaukat Hussain, was forfeited to the State under Section 6 of the POTA.2. In conformity with the provisions of Cr.P.C. the designated Judgesubmitted the record of the case to the High Court of Delhi for confirmation ofdeath sentence imposed on the three accused. Each of the four accused filedappeals against the verdict of the learned designated Judge. The State alsofiled an appeal against the judgment of the designated Judge of the SpecialCourt seeking enhancement of life sentence to the sentence of death in relationto their convictions under Sections 121, 121A and 302 IPC. In addition, theState filed an appeal against the acquittal of the 4th accused on all the chargesother than the one under Section 123 IPC. The Division Bench of High Court,speaking through Pradeep Nandrajog, J. by a well considered judgmentpronounced on 29.10.2003 dismissed the appeals of Mohd. Afzal and ShaukatHussain Guru and confirmed the death sentence imposed on them. The HighCourt allowed the appeal of the State in regard to sentence under Section 121IPC and awarded them death sentence under that Section also. The High Courtallowed the appeals of S.A.R. Gilani and Navjot Sandhu @ Afsan Guru andacquitted them of all charges. This judgment of the High Court has given riseto these seven appeals\027two appeals preferred by Shaukat Hussain Guru andone appeal preferred by Mohd. Afzal and four appeals preferred by theState/Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi against the acquittal ofS.A.R. Gilani and Navjot Sandhu.It may be mentioned that the accused Mohd. Afzal and Shaukat HussainGuru are related, being cousins. The 4th accused Navjot Sandhu @ Afsan Guruis the wife of Shaukat Hussain. The third accused S.A.R. Gilani is a teacher inArabic in Delhi University. It is he who officiated the marriage ceremony ofShaukat Hussain Guru and Navjot Sandhu who at the time of marriageconverted herself to Islam.3.(i) Now, let us make a brief survey of the incident and theinvestigation that followed, which led to the filing of the charge-sheet, asapparent from the material on record.(ii) There is practically no dispute in regard to the details of actualincident, the identification of the deceased terrorists and the recoveries andother investigations made at the spot.(iii) Five heavily armed persons entered the Parliament House complexin a white Ambassador Car. The said five persons (hereinafter referred to asthe ’slain’ or ’deceased terrorists’) were heavily armed with automatic assaultrifles, pistols, hand and rifle grenades, electronic detonators, spareammunition, explosives in the form of improvised explosive devices viz., tiffinbombs and a sophisticated bomb in a container in the boot of the car madewith enormous quantity of ammonium nitrate. The High Court observed: "Thefire power was awesome\027enough to engage a battalion\027and had the attacksucceeded, the entire building with all inside would have perished."(iv) It was a fortuitous circumstance that the Vice President’s carcade,which was awaiting departure from Gate No.11 was blocking the circular roadoutside the Parliament building, with the result the deceased terrorists wereunable to get free and easy access to the Parliament House building. Theattack was foiled due to the immediate reaction of the security personnelpresent at the spot and complex. There was a fierce gun-battle lasting for
nearly 30 minutes. As mentioned earlier, nine persons including eight securitypersonnel and one gardener lost their lives in the attack and 16 personsincluding 13 security personnel, received injuries. The five assailants werekilled.(v) From the evidence of PW5 who was the ASI in-charge of Escort-Ivehicle of the Vice-President, we get the details of the origin of the incident. Hestated that at about 11.30 a.m. one white Ambassador car having red lightentered the Parliament complex and came to the point where the carcade ofthe Vice-President was waiting near Gate No.11. Since the escort vehicle wasblocking the way, the car turned towards left. He got suspicious and orderedthe vehicle to stop. Then, the driver of the Ambassador car reversed thevehicle and while doing so struck the rear side of the car of the Vice-President.When the car was about to move away, he and the driver of the Vice-President’s car ran towards the car and caught hold of the collar of the driver.As he was trying to drive away, PW5 took out his revolver. At that juncture,the five persons in the car got out of it and quickly started laying wires anddetonators. Then PW5 fired a shot, which struck on the leg of one of theterrorists. The terrorist also returned the fire as a result of which he received abullet injury on his right thigh. There was further exchange of fire. Theevidence of other witnesses reveal that there was hectic movement of theterrorists from gate to gate within the complex firing at the security men onduty and the latter returning the fire.(vi) The Station House Officer of Parliament Street Police Station, ShriG.L. Mehta (PW1) along with his team of police personnel reached the spotafter receiving a wireless message. By that time, the firing spree was over.PW1 cordoned off the area. He found one deceased terrorist lying oppositeGate No.1 of the Parliament building, one deceased terrorist at the porch ofGate No.5 and three deceased terrorists lying in the porch of Gate No.9. TheBomb Disposal Squad of NSG, a photographer and a crime team weresummoned to the spot. PW1 then deputed three Sub-Inspectors (PWs2 to 4) toconduct investigation at the three gates. PW1 then examined the spot ofoccurrence, prepared a rough sketch of the scene of occurrence and seizedvarious articles including arms and ammunition, live and empty cartridges andthe car and the documents found therein. Blood samples were also lifted fromvarious spots. The photographs of the five slain terrorists were caused to betaken. Then, he sent the dead bodies to the mortuary in the hospital forpostmortem.(vii) After the Bomb Disposal Squad had rendered the area safe and hispreliminary observations were over, PW1 recorded the statement of S.I. ShamSingh (PW55) who was in the security team of Vice-President. On the basis ofthis statement, ’Rukka’ (Ext.PW1/1) was prepared and PW1 despatched thesame to the police station at about 5 p.m. This formed the basis forregistration of First Information Report. The FIR was registered for offencesunder Sections 121, 121A, 122, 124, 120-B, 186, 332, 353, 302, 307 IPC,Sections 3, 4 & 5 of the Explosive Substances Act and Sections 25 & 27 of theArms Act by the Head Constable (PW14) of the Parliament Street PoliceStation. The copy of FIR was sent to the Court on the same day, as seen fromthe endorsement on the document (PW 14/1). The further investigation was,taken up by the special cell of Delhi Police.(viii) Investigations conducted by PW1 and his team of officers led to therecovery and seizure of the following articles inter alia:A white ambassador car, DL3CJ1527, with a VIP red light. The car had asticker of the Home Ministry (subsequently found to be fake) on the windshield(Ex. PW 1/8) containing an inscription at the rear denigrating India andreflecting a resolve to ’destroy’ it. Certain papers relating to the car were foundinside the car.Six fake identity cards purportedly issued by Xansa Websity, 37,Bungalow Road, New Delhi to different students with their address as 120-A,Adarsh Nagar, Delhi and the telephone number as 9811489429. These identitycards were in the names of Anil Kumar, Raju Lal, Sunil Verma, Sanjay Koul,Rohail Sharma and Rohail Ali Shah (which were subsequently found to be fakenames of the deceased terrorists).One fake identity card of Cybertech Computer Hardware Solutions in thename of Ashiq Hussain which was being carried by the deceased terroristMohammed.

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