National Investigation Agency (NIA) has approached the Delhi High Court seeking death sentence for Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik. Malik is lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
The petition is listed for hearing on May 29 before a Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh.
Malik, who had pleaded guilty in a terror funding case, was awarded a life sentence by a special NIA court in May 2022.
The investigation agency had sought capital punishment for Malik before the trial court as well. However, it was turned down by the special court on the grounds that death penalty should be awarded only in exceptional cases “where the crime by its nature shocks the collective consciousness of the society.”
Malik was convicted under sections 120B, 121, 121A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 13 and 15 of UAPA read with 120B of the IPC besides Sections 17, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of UAPA.
In a detailed judgment, the NIA Court had observed that Malik betrayed the good intentions of the government by choosing the violent path.
“Betraying the good intentions of government, he took a different path to orchestrate violence in the guise of political struggle. …the evidence on the basis of which charges were framed and to which convict has pleaded guilty, speaks otherwise,” the special court had noted.
The judge also rejected Malik’s plea that he had become a Gandhian.
“It only took one small incident of violence at Chauri Chaura for the Mahatma to call off the entire non-cooperation movement but the convict despite large scale of violence engulfing the valley neither condemned the violence nor withdrew his calendar of protests, which had led to the said violence,” the judge said.
On March 5, 2019, Malik was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and taken to Kot Balwal Jail, Jammu, from Srinagar’s Kothibagh police station where he had been detained under ‘preventive custody’. He was later shifted to Tihar Jail where he is lodged now.