SC to mull 2 life terms for terror suspect

SC to mull 2 life terms for terror suspect

The Supreme Court has put for final hearing a plea made by a Mumbai resident against two life terms awarded to him, after being tried for being a member of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba on his arrest with two hand grenades and a pistol from Kalaburgi railway station in 2006.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao agreed to consider the petition of Abdul Raheman alias Shami Ahmad Sha filed against the Karnataka High Court's judgement of July 20, 2016, that acquitted him of charges like waging war against the country.

Advocates Siddhartha Dave and Farrukh Rasheed, representing Raheman, contended that the petitioner has already served more than 12 years in jail, but the order awarding him sentence of life terms in two separate offences under the Explosive Substance Act would come in way of possible grant of remission after 14 years.

"List on a Tuesday after Christmas vacations," the bench ordered.

The top court had on January 23, last year issued a notice to the Karnataka government on the question of sentence only, after admitting his special leave petition for consideration.

In his petition, Raheman, who was acquitted of the charge of being LeT member, contended, among others, that in absence of valid sanction under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, the entire proceeding against him were vitiated.

On March 30, 2006 the petitioner, who claimed to be dealing in children's toys, was apprehended from Kalaburgi Railway Station by police inspector D C Nandakumar, as soon as he alighted from the Chennai Mumbai Train. On a search of his luggage, the accused was allegedly found in possession of a pistol, two hand grenades, books in Urdu and audio and video cassettes.

According to the prosecution, after completing the Pre-University course at Mumbai, Raheman had travelled to Oman in May 2001 and returned to Goa in November 2001 and again went to Daman on February 5, 2002, where he had allegedly been indoctrinated about 'Jihad' by Islamic leaders. It was alleged he had visited Pakistan and got trained at a LeT training centre at Rawalpindi.