A Delhi court on Friday fixed October 1 for formally framing charges against Wasim Akram Malik, arrested by the National Investigation Agency for his alleged role in the terror attack at the Delhi High Court last year.
While dropping the charge of stringent penal offence of waging war against India on September 4, District Judge H S Sharma had decided to frame charges of various other offences under the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substance Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Malik.
The court had declined the NIA’s plea to prosecute Malik for the offence of waging war against India saying that merely because an e-mail referring to the release of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru was sent by accused after the blast, it does not mean that an offence against the state was committed.
It had decided to frame charges for offences punishable under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing hurt) and 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the IPC against Malik.
It had also decided to frame charges under various sections of the Explosive Substance Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Malik after finding prima facie evidence of his role in the September 7, 2011 terror attack at the high court’s reception in which 15 people were killed and 79 others were injured.
The NIA had moved the Delhi High Court on September 18 against the trial court’s decision to drop the charge of waging war against India against Malik.
The high court has issued notice to Malik seeking his response by October 16 on the NIA’s plea.
The trial court, while deciding to frame charges against Malik, had referred to the statement given by Amir Abbas Dev under Section 164 of the CrPC to a magistrate. Dev was arrested for his alleged role in the case but had later turned approver and was granted pardon by the judge.
The court had also referred to statements of other prosecution witnesses and said after perusing the evidence, it has come on record that Malik was in Delhi on June 29 last year and had conducted recce of various areas including that of the high court.
The NIA had filed its charge sheet against six, including Malik, Dev and a minor, besides three others — Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Seikh alias Chhota Hafiz, who are suspected members of the banned terror outfit Hizb-ul Mujahideen and are evading arrest. The minor’s case is being adjudicated separately.
The terror attack at the Delhi High Court was plotted with an aim to get the death sentence of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru commuted to life term, the NIA had said.
The charge sheet against the six accused was filed under various sections of the IPC dealing with murder, criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation, attempt to murder, causing grievous hurt and others, besides various offences under the Explosive Act and the UAP Act.