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HC upholds life conviction for POTA accused

The Delhi High Court has refused to reduce the life imprisonment imposed on two POTA convicts.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2006 18:43 IST

Holding that no credence can be given to retraction of a confession six months after it was originally recorded, the Delhi High Court has refused to reduce the life imprisonment imposed on two POTA convicts by the designated court.

A division bench of Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Manju Goel also refused to believe the plea of the two convicts that the investigating authorities had planted a sum of Rs 7 lakh in their possession to falsely implicate them in the conspiracy.

The appellants Mohd Ayub Mir, an operative of the banned Lasker-e-Taiba along with one Harbans Singh, who allegedly helped him with hawala money were both convicted in July, 2002 by a designated court to undergo life imprisonment for committing offences under the POTA.

The convictions were based on the confessions recorded by the DCP special branch and subsequently confirmed before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

However, the accused filed an appeal before the High Court claiming that police had implicated them in the case by planting money in their possession and also disputed the confessional statements recorded by the investigators.

But the bench felt that there was no basis for giving credence to the claims of the accused as the testimony pertaining to the seizure of the hawala money made by a private individidual Tejinder Singh matched with that of the prosecution and other evidence gathered in the case.

Harbans Singh's counsel Harjinder Singh claimed that the former had retracted his confession through a letter purportedly written on January 30, 2003, after the charges were framed.

Noting that there were no such documents with the trial court, the Bench observed, "Even if such a retraction is now being set up, we can attach no importance to the same since the confession was confirmed on July 8, 2002, and no credit can be given to the retraction done six months thereafter,"the bench observed.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 18:43 IST