When Supreme Court took away right to life from Afzal

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 08:06 hrs

The Supreme Court had while upholding Afzal Guru's death sentence had termed the attack on Parliament in 2001 as an unparalelled assault on the supreme seat of democracy.

In its 271-page judgement delivered on August four, 2005, a division bench of Justice P V Reddi and Justice P P Naolekar had said there was clinching evidence against Guru regarding his nexus with the terrorists who carried out the "terrorist act of most diabolical nature".

There was not even a shred of doubt about his complicity in hatching of the criminal conspiracy to attack Parliament and evidence showed that he had actively participated in its execution, it said.

"All evidences unerringly point to Afzal Guru, a key conspirator, who played an active role", the Bench said observing that by no standards his act could be termed innocuous.

"He is definitely involved in the conspiracy to attack Parliament with the use of explosive substances," Justice Reddi said observing that the attack had no parallel in the history of Indian democracy.

While justifying the imposition of capital punishment on Guru, Justice Reddi had said the attack on Parliament was "a gravest crime of enormous severity" and was a classic case falling under the "rarest of rare" category.

"The collective conscience of the society will be satisfied only if the death penalty is awarded to Afzal Guru," the Bench had said.

While taking away his right to life, the court had said the manner in which he conspired to wage war against the nation and the support he extended for carrying out the criminal conspircay made him a "menace to the society".

The trial Court had awarded death penalty to Shaukat, Guru and Geelani while sentencing Afsan to five years imprisonment for their role in the December 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament which had led to mobilisation of troops on the Indo-Pak border and brought the two countries on the brink of war.

The Delhi High Court had upheld the death penalty to Afzal and Shaukat under Sections 302 (murder), 121 (waging war against the nation) and Sections 3(2) and 4 of POTA but had acquitted both Geelani and Afsan.

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