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Delhi High Court to hear NIA plea seeking death penalty for JKLF chief Yasin Malik on May 29

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The High Court of Delhi will hear on May 29, a petition filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) seeking death sentence for Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairperson and Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, who was sentenced to life imprisonment last year in a terror funding case.

The Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh will take up the matter on Monday.

In May last year, a special NIA court had sentenced Malik to life imprisonment in a terror funding case. The accused had pleaded guilty in the case.

As per the national agency, if such ‘dreaded’ terrorists were not given capital punishment on account of having pleaded guilty, there will be complete erosion of the sentencing policy and the terrorists would have a way out to avoid capital punishment.

NIA said a life sentence did not commensurate with the crime committed by terrorists in view of the loss suffered by the nation and the families of soldiers.

Talking about the trial court’s conclusion that Malik’s crimes did not fall within the category of the ‘rarest of the rare cases’ for grant of death penalty, the NIA termed this observation as ex facie ‘legally flawed and completely unsustainable’.

NIA reiterated that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Malik spearheaded terrorist activities in the Valley and with the help of dreaded foreign terrorist organisations, had been ‘masterminding, planning, engineering and executing armed rebellion in the Valley in an attempt to usurp the sovereignty and integrity of a part of India’.

It further said that not giving capital punishment to such dreaded terrorist would result in miscarriage of justice, as an act of terrorism was not a crime against the society, but it was a crime against the entire nation.

The agency added that it was an act of ‘external aggression’, ‘an act of war’ and an ‘affront to the sovereignty of the nation’.

The national agency had demanded capital punishment for Malik before the trial court as well.

However, the NIA Special Court had observed that death penalty should be awarded only in exceptional cases, where the crime by its nature ‘shocked’ the collective consciousness of the society.

Malik was convicted under Section 120B, 121, 121A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 13 and 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, read with 120B of IPC, besides Sections 17, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of UAPA.

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