HC allows ‘war against govt’ charge against blast accused

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SummaryTrial court had dropped stringent charge against Wasim Akram Malik

Trial court had dropped stringent charge against Wasim Akram Malik

The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the trial court to frame charges of waging war against the Government of India against Wasim Akram Malik for his role in the September 2011 terror strike at the High Court premises.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S P Garg allowed National Investigation Agency’s plea against the trial court order, which had dropped stringent penal charge of “waging war against the government” against Malik, who is facing trial in the September 7, 2011 attack case, in which 15 people were killed and 79 were injured.

“The facts as alleged and material evidence relied upon and mentioned justify framing of charges under the appropriate section of the IPC,” the bench said.

“Charges under Section 121 (waging war against India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 122 (collecting arms etc, with intention of waging war against India) and 123 (concealing existence of design to wage war) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) will be framed by the trial court,” the bench said.

Accepting the NIA’s argument that the intention of the accused was not to cause injury to a particular person, but the public in general, the court said, “We allow the present appeal and set aside para 24 of the trial court order discharging the respondent (Malik) and holding that there is no ground or material to frame charges under Section 121.”

“We record the contention that the bomb blast was not targeted to cause injury to a particular person but (the bomb) was kept at the reception counter of the Delhi High Court, which issued passes that enables litigants and others to enter the high court building.

The bench rejected Malik’s argument that unless security forces are specifically targeted, Section 121 is not attracted.

“The dividing line i.e., terrorist act or waging war in some cases may be there, but the present case has its own peculiarities like the location where the bomb exploded, animus which has been attributed, the email, etc.,” the bench said.

The special court had framed charges in the case on September 4, but had dropped the stringent charges against Malik saying more evidence was required to frame charges under those provisions.

“These offences (relating to waging war against country) require something more than (those) available against the accused in this case. Merely because a bomb had exploded outside the Delhi High Court

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