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Karnataka HC Upholds Conviction Of LeT Operative Who Conspired To Attack IT Hubs And Secretariat Building In Bengaluru [Read Judgment]

Mustafa Plumber
10 Dec 2019 11:12 AM GMT
Karnataka HC Upholds Conviction Of LeT Operative Who Conspired To Attack IT Hubs And Secretariat Building In Bengaluru [Read Judgment]
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The Karnataka High Court has upheld the conviction and life sentence imposed on Imran Jalal @ BILAL, a member of the banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba, who had conspired to carry out terrorist attacks on major IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, ITP, HAL and Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru to kill innocent people and to wage war against the Government of India. The police had...

The Karnataka High Court has upheld the conviction and life sentence imposed on Imran Jalal @ BILAL, a member of the banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba, who had conspired to carry out terrorist attacks on major IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, ITP, HAL and Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru to kill innocent people and to wage war against the Government of India. The police had arrested him with arms and ammunition in 2007.

A division bench of Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice H P Sandesh while upholding the conviction said "The material collected by the prosecution

substantiate the fact that the accused was possessing arms and ammunitions, grenades and also live bullets and there is no explanation on the part of the accused with regard to the same, except general denial. The prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was possessing the same and the evidence of the prosecution witnesses corroborates the same and nothing

is elicited in the cross-examination of these witnesses to disbelieve the case of the prosecution and further more there is no material before the Court for false implication of the accused. The prosecution has proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Case background:

It was alleged that accused, along with others, during the period from 2001 to 2007, entered into a criminal conspiracy at places namely, Islamabad, Srinagar, Mumbai, Pune. Hampi, Hospet and Bengaluru, being the active member of a banned terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Toiba, to wage war against the Government of India or State Government.

On, January 5, 2007 at about 5.10 a.m, accused was apprehended red-handedly with the explosive substances like hand grenades arms, ammunitions like AK assault rifle etc., to blast the same against the I.T companies like Wipro, Infosys, ITPL, HAL International Airport and Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru to kill the innocent people and thereby make terror attempt to wage war against the Government of India.

further the case, that from the year 2001 to 2007, the accused being the active member of Lashkar-e-Toiba, collected arms and ammunitions with an intention to wage war against the Government and knowingly acquired and had the same under his control a special category of explosive substances like hand grenades etc., and he was not having any license to possess the same and he also failed to show.

The accused was charged under sections, 121, 121-A and 122 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 5(b) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908, Sections 25(1-A) and 26(2) of the Arms Act, 1959 and Sections 20 and 23(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Accused argued:

Jalal had filed an appeal challenging his conviction on the ground that court below has committed an error in accepting the inconsistent and uncorroborated evidence of the prosecution witnesses. The Trial Court has failed to take note of serious and glaring omissions and contradictions elicited in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses which are consistent with the innocence of accused. This was a case where allegation of conspiracy based on recovery had been made by the prosecution but the prosecution has not led any evidence either by direct circumstances or presumptive circumstances to show the alleged involvement of accussed.

Prosecution arguments.

The evidences of P.Ws.1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 and also the complainant, who has been examined as P.W.30 with regard to the apprehending the accused, recovery and seizure of articles is consistent. The banned articles are seized and possession is not disturbed in the cross-examination of this witness. Hence, the prosecution has proved the apprehending of the accused and also with regard to seizure of the banned material at the instance of the accused.

There is no dispute with regard to sanction order. The only contention is that the sanctioning authority has not considered the material and the same also cannot be accepted. P.W.1 is an independent witness and he categorically says that the

accused had already alighted from the bus. Hence, the question of examining the driver, conductor or the passengers does not arise.

Court said:

"The Sanctioning Authority has applied its mind and considered the material collected and referred the same in the sanction order. Hence, we do not find any force in the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that there was no valid sanction."

On the contention whether the court below

has committed an error in convicting the accused for the offences invoked against him. The bench said "The very seizure of the articles at the instance of the accused in his residence at Hospet by drawing the mahazar is proved. Hence, there is a force in the contention of the learned state public prosecutor for the state that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the seizure of prohibited articles at the instance of the accused both at Bengaluru as well as Hospet and the independent witnesses l, have supported the case of the prosecution. It is also pertinent to note that, in the cross-examination of the witnesses, nothing is suggested that police were having ill-will against the accused, in order to falsely implicate him in a serious offences invoked against him, except the suggestion that the accused was supporting the Jammu and Kashmir residents at Hampi which cannot be accepted."

As regards the main contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that the source of these articles were not investigated and traced by the Investigating Officer. The bench said "When the

prosecution is able to prove that the same was seized at the instance of the accused, the burden shifts on the accused to disprove the same."

Advocate S Balkrishnan appeared for petitioner

Advocate V M Sheelvanth appeared for the state
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