1996 Lajpat Nagar blast case: Delhi HC acquits convicts with death penalty
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday slammed the Delhi Police for having conducted a shoddy probe with "serious lapses" in the 1996 Lajpat Nagar blast case, while acquitting two convicts.
The Delhi HC acquitted two alleged JKIF militants with death penalty on them.
The two freed were Mohammed Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain.
Also, the death penalty of the third terrorist Javed Ahmad Khan alias Chotta Javed was commuted to life imprisonment.
Pulling up the police in its 200-page order, the court said that the Delhi Police "has shown casual approach in the case."
"Police has not maintained minimum standard of probe in the case, Test Identification Parade was not conducted, statement of vital witnesses were not recorded. There was also absence of 'Delhi Diary' entry in the case," the bench said.
The HC verdict came on appeals filed by the four -- Naushad, Ali Bhatt, Mirza Nissar Hussain and Javed Ahmed Khan -- against their conviction and sentencing by the trial court.
The trial court had convicted six suspects. Farooq Ahmed Khan and Farida Dar were held guilty under milder penal provisions and were sentenced to seven years' jail term. However, they were released as they had already spent much more time than that in prison.
Originally, 10 people were arrested and put on trial. Besides these six, the others were Mirza Iftikhar, Latif Ahmed Waza, Syed Maqbool Shah and Abdul Gani.
A very high intensity blast took place at Lajpat Nagar Central market on May 21, 1996, killing 13 people and injuring 39 others.