SC reserves verdict on Shaukat Guru's petition

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a petition filed by Shaukat Hussain Guru serving ten years sentence in Parliament attack case, challenging his conviction and sentence in the case.

A bench comprising Justices P P Naolekar and V S Sirpurkar reserved the verdict after hearing counsel for the petitioner and for the Delhi police.

Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan appearing for the petitioner contended before the court that his client was never charged with an offence under Section 123 A IPC(withholding information of conspiracy from the government) and no one can be convicted for an offence without being given an opportunity to defend himself.

He also contended that the liberty of an individual cannot be curtailed without due process of law, and conviction and sentence of his client for an offence he was never charged with amounted to violation of his fundamental and human right.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam appearing for the Delhi government, however, supported the judgement of the apex court and contended that this point has already been considered by the court while dismissing his review petition as well as curative petition.

He also contended that not passing on such vital information to the police was a serious offence and the conspiracy culminated in an attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001 and a dozen lives, including those of nine security personnel were lost.

Shaukat was awarded death sentence by the trial court and it was confirmed by the Delhi High Court.

The Supreme Court, however, commuted death sentence to ten years imprisonment by absolving him of the charge of criminal conspiracy.

Mohammad Afzal Guru, another convict in the case, is already facing death sentence in the case.

UNI SC AE DS1617

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