'Carried Highly Explosive Substances & Objectionable Literature': Calcutta HC Upholds Life Sentence Of Pakistani National Arrested On His Way To J&K

Aaratrika Bhaumik

2 Feb 2023 8:57 AM GMT

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  • Carried Highly Explosive Substances & Objectionable Literature: Calcutta HC Upholds Life Sentence Of Pakistani National Arrested On His Way To J&K

    The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday upheld the life sentence awarded to a Pakistani national belonging to terrorist organization Al-Badar, who was found to have entered Indian territory illegally through Bangladesh and was proceeding to Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities. The convict was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF), Kolkata on...

    The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday upheld the life sentence awarded to a Pakistani national belonging to terrorist organization Al-Badar, who was found to have entered Indian territory illegally through Bangladesh and was proceeding to Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities.

    The convict was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF), Kolkata on March 19, 2009, after being intercepted and was found to be in possession of explosive substances and forged driving license and Voter ID card.

    On March 15, 2021, Additional Sessions Judge, 1st Fast Track Court, Calcutta had convicted the accused for the offence of waging war against the Government of India under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as under other provisions of the IPC, the Foreigners Act and the Explosive Substance Act. The instant appeal had been filed against this order. 

    Upon a perusal of the rival submissions, a Division Bench comprising Justice Debangsu Basak and Justice Md. Shabbar Rashidi observed,

    “A person of foreign origin entered Indian Territory without valid travel documents and carrying highly explosive substance and objectionable literature and proceeding to a substantially terror prone zone of the country is surely not expected to be moving for charity. The circumstances of the case do suggest an inference that his action was within the ambit of an attempt and his involvement in a conspiracy to wage war upon the Government of India. A person of foreign origin entered Indian Territory without valid travel documents and carrying highly explosive substance and objectionable literature and proceeding to a substantially terror prone zone of the country is surely not expected to be moving for charity. The circumstances of the case do suggest an inference that his action was within the ambit of an attempt and his involvement in a conspiracy to wage war upon the Government of India.”

    The Court noted that the convict had entered into and stayed in India without the valid documents required for such entry or for such stay. It was also taken into consideration that he was found in possession of a plastic container containing a semi solid material which was later examined and found to be a mixture of ammonium nitrate and petroleum hydrocarbon which is an established high explosive substance. 

    "No explanation has been put forward by the appellant for the possession of highly explosive substance which is also not permitted. Such possession was, obviously, to endanger human life and property in the Indian Territory and that too, in a suspicious manner being carried in a bag", the Court added. 

    The Division Bench also noted that the convict had initially disguised himself to be an Indian national under the name of Md. Jamal belonging to the District of Murshidabad but however during interrogation he had identified himself as Sahahbaz Ismail, a resident of District Dera Gazi Khan in Pakistan. 

    Accordingly, the Court upheld the order of conviction and the sentence of life imprisonment imposed by the Sessions Court.

    Case Title: Shahbaz Ismail @ Shahbaz @ Md. Jamal v. The State of West Bengal

    Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Cal) 26

    Click Here To Read/Download Order

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