The Delhi High Court has upheld the acquittal of two suspected LeT terrorists, including a Pakistani national, accused of planning to disrupt celebrations being held here in 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence.
A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Ashutosh Kumar dismissed Delhi Police's appeal against the decision of the trial court, saying "prosecution suffers from various gaps and lacunae which remain unexplained and consequently cause doubt about recoveries made and to what extent the two were actually involved".
"In view of the aforesaid discussion, we feel the trial court had rightly granted benefit of doubt and acquitted the respondent nos.1 (Mohd Hassan) and 2 (Shafaquat Iqbal) from the charges under sections 121, 121A, 122, 123 (waging war against the country) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC; sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908; and, provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967," it said.
As prosecution witnesses had testified that Hasan was present at Dilli Haat in south Delhi, from where he was arrested, the court upheld his conviction for entering and staying in India illegally.
He had not challenged his conviction for illegal entry into India and stay here, the court also noted.
Iqbal, represented by advocate M S Khan, Hasan and one Shabbir Ahmed, a Jammu and Kashmir resident, had been arrested in 2007 from outside Dilli Haat on the basis of a tip off that some persons would be arriving there to supply explosives to a 'fidayeen'.
The trial court had in October 2012 acquitted all the three of the charges against them. Hasan was only convicted for entering and stying in India illegally.
The police, in 2013, had appealed against the acquittal of Hasan and Iqbal.