A trial Court sanction juvenile’s conviction for 2011 HC blast: Delhi


The 2011 Delhi HC blast took place in the Indian capital Delhi on Wednesday, 7 September 2011 at 10:14 local time outside Gate No. 5 of the Delhi High Court, where a suspected briefcase bomb was planted. The blast killed 17 people and injured 76. According to reports immediately following the blasts, responsibility for the blast was claimed by the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) group.

A trial court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a juvenile in the 2011 Delhi high court blast case, saying the teenager was a "co-conspirator" in the horror attack that asserted 15 lives. The court also supported the Juvenile Justice Board's (JJB) decision of awarding a three-year term at a special home to the 17-year-old resident of Jammu and Kashmir.
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Other sessions judge Rakesh Pandit believed on the evidence of pursuance witnesses, the juvenile's confessional statement and other electronic records to complete that it was the teen who had sent an email from Kishtwar (J&K) to TV channels soon after the blast asserting responsibility of the attack and also threatening more blasts at places like the Supreme Court if Afzal Guru (convicted in the Parliament attack case) was hanged. Guru was hanged in February 2013.

The judge also said that the minor had "preceding knowledge of the blast" and rejected defence's argument that the confessional statement of the juvenile cannot be considered as reliable evidence as he was "pressured" to confess.

The juvenile's lawyer Mehmood Pracha, however, said that they will certainly file an appeal against the judgment. "We are not satisfied. There are ample grounds to file an appeal and we are confident that we will be successful in the appeal," Pracha said.

Calling the minor's confessional statement "truthful" and an "admissible piece of evidence", the judge said, "It can be safe to hold that JCL (juvenile in clash with law) was co-conspirator in the bomb blast and thereafter took responsibility of it…” The court supported the conviction of the minor by the JJB in July 2014 under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), IPC and Explosive Substances Act. However, the court cleared him of charges under sections 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist organization), 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organization) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organization) of UAPA.

The blast that took place on July 7, 2011 at gate number 5 of the high court asserted 15 lives and left 79 injured. There were six accused, including the juvenile. Two of them -Amir Kamal and Shakir Hussain alias Chotta Hafiz -were killed in an encounter while another accused, Junaid Akram Malik, is missing. The main accused, Wasim Akram Malik, a student of medicine, is facing trial before a special trial court while his co-accused Amir Abbas Dev has turned an approver.

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