New Delhi: A Delhi court today sent to the
gallows three out of six convicted members of militant outfit
Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) for the 1996 Lajpat Nagar
market blast which had claimed 13 lives, saying their
"dastardly" act fell under the "rarest of rare" category.
"The convicts do not deserve to be dealt with lenient
view. There cannot be two opinions that looking at the prime
conspectus of what was perpetrated at Lajpat Nagar market, it
was the most dastardly act... the convicts indulged in the
killing of innocent persons without any provocation," District
and Sessions Judge S P Garg said.
The pronouncement of the capital punishment was made
against Mohd Naushad, Mohd Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain
in a packed courtroom.
The court, besides imposing fines on them, also
awarded rigorous life imprisonment to Javed Ahmed Khan who was
found guilty of serious offences of murder, conspiracy and
attempt to murder under the IPC.
Farooq Ahmed Khan and Farida Dar, who were held guilty
under milder penal provisions, were allowed to walk free as
the court said the imprisonment served during the trial was
The court, in its 42-page order on quantum of
sentence, cited various apex court judgments to justify the
decision to award the death penalty.
"The gravity of the crime conceived by the convicts
with potential of causing enormous casualties as well as
disrupting normal life of the people is something which cannot
be described in words. The incident which resulted in heavy
casualties has shaken the entire city and the collective
conscience of the society," it said.
The court said nothing can justify such offence and
moreover, "violence in any form is not permissible in a
democratic set up".
"The convicts had no apparent justification or motive
to take the lives of innocent citizens. The deceased persons
or victims were not at all responsible for any grievances of
the convicts towards the society or the government," it said.
Besides the jail term, it also slapped a fine of
Rs 10,000 each on Farooq Ahmad Khan and Farida Dar under the
Explosives Substances Act and the Arms Act.
It imposed a fine of Rs 42,000 on Mohd Naushad. While
convicts Mohd Ali Bhatt, Mirza Nissar Hussain and Javed Ahmad
Khan have been asked to pay a fine of Rs 37,000 each under
various penal provisions, dealing with murder, conspiracy and
attempt to murder.