The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday while adjudicating upon a plea moved by a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist to argue in person his appeal against the order of conviction and death sentence imposed upon him, directed that he should ordinarily access Court proceedings through video linkage from the correctional home and appear in person before the Court only on dates that he wishes to advance oral arguments.
A Bench comprising Justice Bivas Pattanayak and Justice Joymalya Bagchi on the last date of hearing had ordered that the convict should be kept in Presidency Correctional Home in Kolkata during the hearing of the appeal. Furthermore, the Bench had requested the Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority to provide the services of a junior empanelled lawyer to interact with him for filing pleadings and advancing arguments in the matter.
On Tuesday, the convict appeared in person before the Court and further sought the leave of the Court to inspect the material exhibits produced before the Court. Granting such a leave, the Court ordered,
"Sk. Abdul Nayeem requests the court to give opportunity to him to inspect the material exhibits. Such leave is granted to Sk. Abdul Nayeem as well as the learned advocates representing the other convicts. In the event Sk. Abdul Nayeem or other appellants request for photocopy of any other material exhibits, office shall provide a copy of the same after due acknowledgement in the records."
Furthermore, the Court was apprised that advocate Apalak Basu has been assigned by the State Legal Services Authority to assist the convict in advancing arguments pursuant to the Court's earlier directions. Accordingly, the Court granted him leave to file a petition of appeal on behalf of the convict along with an application for condonation of delay.
The Court further clarified that the convict is at liberty to appear before the Oath Commissioner of High Court under proper security escort for affirmation of affidavits appended to the pleadings.
Directing that the convict should ordinarily appear through before the Court through video proceedings, the Court observed,
"It is made clear Sk. Abdul Nayeem will ordinarily access the proceedings through video linkage from the correctional home where he is presently kept. Only on those dates Sk. Abdul Nayeem advances oral arguments, he shall be produced physically before this court under proper security arrangements."
The order was further directed to be supplied to the Director General, West Bengal Correctional Services, Director General of Police, West Bengal and Superintendent, Presidency Correctional Home for necessary intimation and compliance.
The matter is slated to be heard next on May 19 at 10:30 am.
Case Title: In Re : State of West Bengal vs. Md. Younus @ Bilal & Ors