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Pulwama Terror Attack: J&K&L High Court Dismisses Accused' Appeal Claiming 'Plea Of Juvenility'

Basit Amin Makhdoomi
16 July 2022 1:00 PM GMT
Pulwama Terror Attack:  J&K&L High Court Dismisses Accused Appeal Claiming Plea Of Juvenility
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The Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court today dismissed an appeal filed by an accused in the 2019 Pulwama Terror Attack, claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged offence. While dismissing his appeal against an order of Special NIA Court, a Division bench comprising Justices Rajnesh Oswal & Mohan Lal observed, "this court has no hesitation to hold...

The Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court today dismissed an appeal filed by an accused in the 2019 Pulwama Terror Attack, claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged offence.

While dismissing his appeal against an order of Special NIA Court, a Division bench comprising Justices Rajnesh Oswal & Mohan Lal observed,

"this court has no hesitation to hold that the appellant was more than 18 years of age and was not juvenile at the time of commission of offence. We have perused the order impugned and find the learned trial court has rightly rejected the claim of juvenility."

The Appellant claimed that he was a minor when he allegedly placed the order for purchase of the Aluminium powder, which was used for making two IEDs which were used for VBIED attack.

He claimed that the Aluminium powder was received by the appellant on 22.01.2019 whereas the date of birth of the appellant is 25.01.2001. thus, he was a minor.

The terror attack was done on 14.02.2019, by which time the accused had become a major.

In this backdrop, the High Court observed,

"if an offence is constituted of several acts and when the accused is major at a time when subsequent act is committed forming part of an offence, he cannot claim to be juvenile. Thus, this court has no hesitation to hold that the appellant was more than 18 years of age and was not juvenile at the time of commission of offence."

It observed that the VBIED blast took place on 14.02.2019 at Lethpora, Pulwama that was the ultimate result of a conspiracy of which the appellant has been alleged to be a partner, then he is equally responsible for the said illegal act, that was committed on 14.02.2019. Thus, the relevant date of offence would be 14.02.2019.

While dealing with the issue the court also found it worthwhile to record the observations of Supreme Court in Firozuddin Basheeruddin and others vs State of Kerala, (2001)7 wherein it was observed.

"It is not necessary that all conspirators should agree to the common purpose at the same time. They may join with other conspirators at any time before the consummation of the intended objective and all are equally responsible. What part each conspirator is to play may not be known to every one or the fact as to when a conspirator joined the conspiracy and when he left. It is the unlawful agreement and not its accomplishment, which is the gist or essence of the crime of conspiracy. Offence of criminal conspiracy is complete even though there is no agreement as to the means by which the purpose is to be accomplished."

Perusal of the available record and the charge sheet revealed that that the appellant harboured three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in the month of August, 2018 and started purchasing certain items for them. Charge sheet further revealed that in earlier part of month of January, 2019, he received 01 Kg of Aluminium powder and then again in late January, 2019, he received 03 kg of Aluminium powder from Amazon. These consignments of Aluminium powder were used in making two IEDs which were used in the VBIED attack in Pulwama.

Case Title: Waiz-ul-Islam Vs Union Territory of J&K through NIA Jammu

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 74 

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment




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