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Parliament attack: Government seeks dismissal of Shaukat's plea

Source: PTI
March 27, 2008 19:39 IST
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The government on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to dismiss a fresh petition filed by Shaukat Hussain Guru, a convict in the 2001 Parliament attack case, challenging his 10-year jail term.

Shaukat's earlier review and curative petitions on the issue of his conviction were dismissed by the apex court, yet, he choose to file the present petition reiterating his claim that he could not be convicted for an offence for which he was not charged by the prosecution.

Appearing for the Delhi Government Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam questioned the maintainability of the petition and asserted that Shaukat's conviction under Section 123 IPC (concealing information relating to the attack) was justified.

Earlier, a trial court had convicted and awarded death sentence to Shaukat, a resident of Kashmir, for the Parliament attack on December 13, 2001. The decision was upheld by the Delhi high court.

The apex court, however, altered Shaukat's death sentence to 10-years imprisonment under Section 123 IPC, while confirming the capital punishment imposed on the other convict and Jaish-e-Mohammed operative Mohammed Afzal.

Shaukat had filed a review petition against the sentence on the plea that his conviction under Section 123 IPC was not maintainable (valid) since he was never charged for the offence during the trial.

The convict argued that since the charges under various other IPC sections, including 121 (conspiracy to wage war against the country), were quashed by the apex court, he could not be held guilty under Section 123 (concealing information) and sentence to 10 years imprisonment.

He said since he was never charged under Section 123, even the apex court did not have the power to convict him under a fresh charge.

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