Monday, February 20, 2017

Terrorists killing innocents won't get bail, parole, says Supreme Court

Taking a tough stand against convicted terrorists, the Supreme Court on Monday said those lodged in prison for long years for slaughtering people could not be given parole or interim bail because of family exigencies.

"If you are involved in such [a] heinous offence of [the] indiscriminate killing of innocents, you cannot be seen to plead that you have a family and its responsibilities. The moment you get convicted in such offences, that is end of your ties with your family and your family life," court said.

This remark came from a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul as they dismissed a petition for interim bail by Mohammad Naushad, who was convicted by the trial court and the Delhi high court for the 1996 Lajpat Nagar bomb blast that killed 13 people and injured 38. The trial court had awarded him the death penalty but the HC reduced it to a life sentence, finding that he was among the conspirators.

"You cannot then say, 'I have children, son or daughter'. You cannot ask for bail. You can challenge the conviction recorded by lower courts and seek acquittal. That we will hear and decide, but you will not be permitted to seek interim bail after the lower court has convicted you and the same has been upheld by the high court. If you have killed people indiscriminately, then there is no short-term bail," the CJI said before dismissing the plea.

Naushad, through advocate Farrukh Rasheed, had sought interim bail for a month to attend to his daughter's wedding on February 27. His appeal against conviction and the CBI's appeal for the enhancement of his life sentence to the death penalty are pending before the apex court. Naushad said he had already spent 20 years in prison and he had never been involved in any criminal case except the bomb blast one. "The appellant is having (sic) deep roots in society and there is no chance or likelihood of him running away during pendency of the appeal in SC," the petition said.

Naushad said he had requested Delhi government through jail authorities on October 24 for parole to conduct his daughter's wedding, but there had been no response. His counsel Siddhartha Dave repeatedly pleaded that he had spent 20 years in prison for mere conspiracy while requesting the court to grant him bail.

The pleas failed to move the bench.

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