HC blast: Charges of waging war to be framed against Malik

HC blast: Charges of waging war to be framed against Malik

A Delhi court will tomorrow frame additional charges, including that of waging war against the country, against Wasim Akram Malik, arrested for his alleged role in the September 2011 Delhi High Court blast case.

During an in-chamber hearing, District Judge (DJ) I S Mehta today said that he will tomorrow frame the additional charges under section 121 (waging war against the country) of the IPC against Malik, court sources said.

Besides charges under section 121 of the IPC, the court is also likely to frame charges under sections 121A(conspiring to commit certain offences against the State), 122 (collecting arms with the intention of waging war against Govt) and 123 (concealing with intent to felicitate a design to wage war) of the IPC against Malik, the sources said.

The trial court had earlier declined the plea of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to prosecute Malik under the stringent charge of waging war against India which entails maximum punishment of death penalty, but the high court had ruled otherwise.

The Delhi High Court had passed an order on December 3 last year ordering the trial court to frame charges of waging war against the country against Malik, who is currently in jail under judicial custody.

The trial court had on October 1 last year framed charges, including that of murder, against Malik under IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosive Substance Act for his alleged role in the terror attack at the court's reception in which 15 people were killed and 79 injured.

The trial court judge, however, had declined NIA's plea to prosecute Malik for the charges of waging war against India saying that merely because an email referring to the release of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged on February 9, was sent by the accused after the blast, it does not mean that an offence against the state was committed.

The court had framed charges against Malik for offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing hurt) and 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the IPC.

The court had earlier allowed NIA's plea seeking handwriting sample of Malik.
The NIA had sought the sample, saying it has recovered some documents from the possession of co-accused Shakir Hussain Sheikh alias Chota Hafiz, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on December 20 last year in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir, the sources had said.

It had told the court that it needs to ascertain whether the recovered documents contain handwriting of Malik or not.

According to NIA, Sheikh, who was named as accused in the charge sheet and was absconding, was killed in an encounter and the judge had abated proceedings against him.

While deciding to frame charges against Malik earlier, the trial court had referred to co-accused-turned-approver Amir Abbas Dev's statement to the magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.

Dev was also arrested by NIA for his alleged role in the case but later turned approver and was granted pardon by the judge.

The NIA had filed charge sheet against six persons, including Malik, Dev and a minor, besides three others -- Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Sheikh, who are suspected members of banned Hizb-ul Mujahideen and are evading arrest. The minor's case is being adjudicated separately.