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Case Summary : STATE (NCT OF DELHI) VS. NAVJOT SANDHU

CITATION- AIR 2005 SC 3820

BENCH- P. Venkatarama Reddi, P.P. Naolekar, JJ.

FACTS-

  • On 13 December 2001, five heavily armed persons entered the premises of Parliament House complex for carrying a very deadly attack. They were on a white Ambassador car and had automatic assault rifles, pistols, hand & rifle grenades, electronic detonators, explosives in the form of IEDs i.e.; Tiffin bombs and sophisticated bomb in boot of a car.
  • They started firing and the gun battle between the terrorists and security guards lasted for half an hour which led to death of all five terrorists and 9 persons including 8 security personnel’s & 1 gardener. It also led to injury of 16 persons.
  • Jaish-E-Mohammed, one of the banned terrorist organizations claimed the responsibility of the act.
  • Investigation which went for 17 days led to arrest of 4 accused which were behind the attack and they were Mohd. Afzal, Shaukat Hussain, S.A.R. Gelani & Afsan Guru (Navjot Sandu). Afzal and Hussain were arrested from Srinagar & ₹10 Lakh and a laptop were recovered from them in a truck.
  • Mohd. Afsal Guru identified the bodies of five deceased terrorists as Mohammad, Raja, Haider, Rana & Hamza.
  • All the accused were framed under sections of IPC, Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 and Explosive Substances Act by  special court. The trial went for six months & 80 witnesses were examined by prosecution and 10 witnesses by defense.

ISSUES INVOLVED-

  • The voluntariness and reliability of confession made by accused to the police.
  • Whether the electronic records which were produced by prosecution were credible
  • A lot of controversy took place during the time of hanging of Afsal Guru.

JUDGEMENT OF SPECIAL COURT

  • The three accused namely Mohd. Afzal, Shaukat Hussain & S.A.R. Gilani were convicted for the charges imposed under IPC & ESA. Mohd Afzal & Shaukat Hussain were also charged under POTA. Afsan Guru (Navjot Sandhu) was convicted under S.123 IPC.
  • Mohd. Afsal, Shaukat & Gelani were given death sentences U/S. 302 IPC R/W S.120-B & S. 3(2) POTA.

DECISION OF DIVISION BENCH OF HIGH COURT.

  • Upon filing an appeal by accused against the verdict of the special court in the High Court, appeals of Mohd. Afzal Guru & Shaukat Hussain were dismissed and death sentence was confirmed for both of them.
  • High Court allowed the appeals of other two accused i.e; S,A.R Gelani & Afsan Guru.

DECISION OF SUPREME COURT-

  • Supreme Court bench of R.M. Lodha, Kurian Joseph & R.F. Nariman JJ.,  dismissed appeal filed by Mohd. Afzal & death sentence was confirmed for him. Appeal of Shaukat was allowed partly & SC made him convicted U/S. 123 IPC & sentenced him for 10 Years with fine of 25,ooo.
  • The appeals filed by state against against the acquittal of S.A.R Gelani & Afsan Guru were dismissed & court decided upon the admissibility of secondary evidence pertaining to electronic evidence.

Upon rejection of mercy petition of  Mohd. Afsal Guru by President, on 9th February 2013 he was hanged to death. The  execution of Mohd. Afsal Guru was named as Operation Three Star.      

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