The Supreme Court today deferred its hearing on the plea of a man from Pakistan convicted of attacking Red Fort in December 2000 to September 14.
The matter was listed before beach comprising of Justices U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi.
The revision petition has been filed by Mohammad Arif, also known as Ashfaq, who was a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, against the Supreme Court order of April 28, 2014 whereby the apex court has upheld the death sentence given to him after his conviction for attacking the Red Fort in December 2000.
Arif was a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant convicted in 2005. The Supreme Court confirmed his sentence in 2011. Three people died in the attack on the Red Fort. Arif’s is the latest in a series of high-profile cases in which the Supreme Court has commuted death sentences because those facing execution have spent so long on death row. In February, the Court commuted the death sentences of three men convicted of plotting the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
And in January, the court had commuted the sentences of 15 death row prisoners to life in jail on the grounds of delay. On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered that a larger “constitution” bench be set up to decide Arif’s case.
His lawyer had argued in the court that hanging Arif would be a violation of the constitution since he had already spent more than 13 years in jail. Arif was arrested along with his wife, Rehmana Yousuf Farooqui, four days after the Red Fort attack and found guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.
The trial court convicted him and six others in October 2005. He was sentenced to death, while the others received jail terms of varying lengths. In September 2007, the high court upheld his conviction, but ordered the release of the others for lack of evidence. The Supreme Court confirmed his death penalty in 2011.
Case Name: Mohd Arif @ Asfaq Vs. State (NCT of Delhi)