Delhi HC blast case: Court to consider NIA`s plea for Malik`s handwriting sample

Last Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 18:50

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday fixed February 27 for considering a plea by National Investigation Agency for handwriting sample of Wasim Akram Malik, facing trial in September 2011 Delhi High Court blast case.
During an in-chamber hearing, the NIA told the court that it needs Malik`s handwriting sample as it has recovered some documents from the possession of co-accused Shakir Hussain Sheikh alias Chota Hafiz, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on December 20 last year in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.

The sources said that the agency told District Judge (DJ) I S Mehta that it needs to ascertain whether the recovered documents contain handwriting of Malik or not.

The court heard the arguments and listed the matter for February 27. NIA had earlier said that Sheikh, who was named as accused in the charge sheet and was absconding, was killed in an encounter and the court had abated proceedings against him.

Meanwhile, the court also listed for hearing on the same day the matter related to framing of additional charge of waging war against India against Malik for his alleged role in the September 7, 2011 terror attack at the high court`s reception in which 15 people were killed and 79 were injured.

The trial judge had earlier declined the NIA`s plea to prosecute Malik under the stringent charge which entails maximum punishment of death penalty, but the High Court had ruled otherwise.

The Delhi High Court had passed an order on December 3 last year ordering the trial court to frame charges of waging war against the country against Malik who is presently in jail under judicial custody.

The trial court had on October 1 last year framed charges, including that of murder, against Malik under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosive Substance Act for his alleged role in the terror attack.

The trial judge, however, had declined the NIA`s plea to prosecute Malik under waging war against India saying that merely because an e-mail referring to the release of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, who was subsequently hanged on February 9 this year, was sent by the accused after the blast, it does not mean that an offence against the state was committed.

The court had framed charges against Malik for offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing hurt) and 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the IPC.

While deciding to frame charges against Malik earlier, the trial court had referred to co-accused-turned-approver Amir Abbas Dev`s statement to the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.

Dev was also arrested by the NIA for his alleged role in the case but had later turned approver and was granted pardon by the judge.

The NIA had filed charge sheet against six persons, including Malik, Dev and a minor, besides three others -- Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Sheikh, who are suspected members of banned terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and are evading arrest. The minor`s case is being adjudicated separately.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 18:49

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