Thursday, September 28, 2023

Red Fort attack case: Supreme Court rejects review plea of LeT militant, affirms death penalty of Mohammad Arif

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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the review petition filed by Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Mohammad Arif, challenging his conviction and sentence in the Red Fort attack case of 2000, in which three people were killed, including two Army officers.

The Bench of Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Bela M. Trivedi affirmed the death penalty awarded to the Pakistan national, after observing that guilt of the accused has been proven in the case, though it accepted the prayers that electronic records must be eschewed from consideration.

Three people, including two Army jawans of 7th Rajputana Rifles and a civilian, lost their lives on December 22, 2000, after some intruders started indiscriminate firing at the historic Red Fort.

On December 25, Arif was arrested along with his wife Rehmana Yousuf Farooqui. He was found guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy and waging war against India

A Trial Court convicted him on October 24, 2005, and awarded him death sentence on October 31, 2005. He moved the Delhi High Court against this decision, which upheld his conviction and death penalty by an order on September 13, 2007.

Arif challenged the Delhi High verdict in the Apex Court on the grounds that the High Court upheld his death penalty, but acquitted six others, who were sentenced for varying jail terms in the case.

The top court of the country, while rejecting his appeal against conviction on August 10, 2011, had observed that the appellant, who was a foreign national and had entered India without any authorisation or justification, built up a conspiracy by practicing deceit and committing various other offences in furtherance of the conspiracy to wage war against India.

It noted that the convict even committed murders by launching an unprovoked attack on the soldiers of Indian Army.

Stating that conspirators have no place in the country, the Apex Court observed that death penalty was the only sentence, which could have been awarded to the convict in the peculiar circumstance of the case.

Arif again moved the Apex Court by way of a review petition, which was also rejected on August 28, 2011.

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