‘No leniency for time lapse’
The city court, which awarded the death sentence to three accused of Lajpat Nagar blast case, said mere lapse of time in disposal of case is no ground for leniency.
On Thursday after the verdict was given, the defence counsel had asked the court to have a lenient view on the all accused, as the trial had expanded for more than 14 years.
The court cited a Supreme Court judgement stating that merely delay in trial couldn't avert the death penalty. It depends on facts and circumstances, it said.
The case comes in the category of “rarest of rare case”, and therefore, delay in trial cannot account for leniency, the court said.
The court said the convicts made a well-designed plan to attack the market on a crowded day, and their plea to have a softer view could not turn away the death penalty.
Dismissing the arguments, the judge said the convicts never pleaded that they acted under duress or domination of someone.
“The convicts indulged in killing innocent persons without any provocation. The convicts had no apparent justification or motive to take lives of innocent citizens,” said the judge.
The court noted that there were other contributory factors for delay in disposal of the case for which prosecution alone cannot be faulted.
“The convicts contested the case till the end and at no stage confessed their guilt,” said the judge.
The court noted that Javed Ahmed Khan's confessional statement established the entire conspiracy. The judge said Khan's statement “stitched the missing links”.
The court observed that there were about 107 witnesses examined by the prosecution, which took enormous time to complete the trial.
Moreover, time was also consumed in getting the accused persons declared proclaimed offenders, and ensuring the presence of the accused persons who were in custody in some other cases outside Delhi. The judge said the police unearthed the smallest details explaining the specific role of all the convicts.