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Delhi HC blast: Trial against Malik begins

A court in New Delhi today commenced the trial against Wasim Akram Malik, arrested by the NIA for his alleged role in the Delhi High Court attack last year.

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2012 19:39 IST

A court here today commenced the trial against Wasim Akram Malik, arrested by the NIA for his alleged role in the Delhi High Court attack last year.

During an in-chamber hearing, district judge H S Sharma recorded the statement of Amir Abbas Dev, who was also earlier arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the case but later turned approver and was granted pardon by the judge.

According to court sources, Dev deposed about the alleged planning by Malik and other accused, who are yet to be arrested in connection with the case, to execute the September 7, 2011 blast at the high court's reception in which 15 people were killed and 79 injured.

Dev told the court about the sequence of events which led to the blast and also described the conspiracy hatched between the other accused, the sources said.

He also referred to the statement given by him before a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC, they said.

The statements recorded by a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC binds a person and any deviation from it during the trial would make him liable for prosecution for offence of perjury.

The court will continue tomorrow the recording of evidence of Dev who was listed in a chargesheet by the NIA. He later moved an application before the court saying he was willing to turn approver in the case.

Malik is facing trial under the provisions of stringent anti-terror law after the court had found prima facie evidence against him under the Explosive Substance Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and under various sections of the IPC.

The court has framed charges against Malik for offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing hurt) and 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the IPC.

The court, however, had declined NIA's plea to prosecute Malik under the stringent charge of waging war against India saying that merely because an email referring to the release of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru was sent by the accused after the blast, it does not mean that an offence against the state was committed.

The NIA had moved the high court on September 18 against the trial court's order to drop the charge of waging war against India.

The court, while framing the charges, had also referred the statement given by Dev and other prosecution witnesses, recorded by the NIA during the probe of the case, and had said that after perusing the evidence, it has come on record that Malik was in Delhi on June 29 last year and had conducted recce of various areas including that of the high court.

The NIA had filed its chargesheet against six, including Malik, Dev and a minor, besides three others -- Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Sheikh alias Chhota Hafiz, who are suspected members of the banned terror group Hizb-ul Mujahideen and are evading arrest. The minor's case is being adjudicated separately.

The terror attack at the high court was plotted with an aim to get the death sentence of Afzal Guru commuted to life term, the NIA had said.

The chargesheet against the six accused was filed under various sections of the IPC dealing with murder, criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation, attempt to murder, causing grievous hurt and others, besides various offences under the Explosive Act and the UAP Act.