When SC Took Away Right to Life From Afzal
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The Supreme Court while upholding Afzal Guru's death sentence had termed the attack on Parliament in 2001 as an unparalelled assault on the supreme seat of democracy.

In its 271-page judgement delivered on August four, 2005, a division bench of Justice P V Reddi and Justice P P Naolekar had said there was clinching evidence against Guru regarding his nexus with the terrorists who carried out the "terrorist act of most diabolical nature".

There was not even a shred of doubt about his complicity in hatching of the criminal conspiracy to attack Parliament and evidence showed that he had actively participated in its execution, it said.

"All evidences unerringly point to Afzal Guru, a key conspirator, who played an active role", the Bench said observing that by no standards his act could be termed innocuous.

"He is definitely involved in the conspiracy to attack Parliament with the use of explosive substances," Justice Reddi said observing that the attack had no parallel in the history of Indian democracy.

While justifying the imposition of capital punishment on Guru, Justice Reddi had said the attack on Parliament was "a gravest crime of enormous severity" and was a classic case falling under the "rarest of rare" category.

"The collective conscience of the society will be satisfied only if the death penalty is awarded to Afzal Guru," the Bench had said.

While taking away his right to life, the court had said the manner in which he conspired to wage war against the nation and the support he extended for carrying out the criminal conspircay made him a "menace to the society".

The trial Court had awarded death penalty to Shaukat, Guru and Geelani while sentencing Afsan to five years imprisonment for their role in the December 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament which had led to mobilisation of troops on the Indo-Pak border and brought the two countries on the brink of war.

The Delhi High Court had upheld the death penalty to Afzal and Shaukat under Sections 302 (murder), 121 (waging war against the nation) and Sections 3(2) and 4 of POTA but had acquitted both Geelani and Afsan.

'Afzal conspired and was in touch with terrorists before attack'

Afzal Guru's close contacts with slain 'Fidayeen' terrorists minutes before the attack on the Parliament coupled with circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that he was a party to the conspiracy and played an active part, the Supreme Court had said.

The apex court, in its August 4, 2005 verdict, had noted that just before the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, Guru had received calls on his mobile from one of the terrorists Mohammed at 10:43 AM, 11:00 AM and 11:25 AM.

In its findings, the bench had said transcripts of the call details established that Mohammed had spoken to Guru that he along with others were going to execute the plan.

The bench also took into consideration that Guru was instrumental in providing hideout and accomodation to the terrorists at Gandhi Vihar and Indira Vihar in north Delhi and played the pivotal role in arranging the logistics including the purchase of chemicals used for preparing the explosives.

Guru had also identified the bodies of five terrorists, Mohammed, Haider, Hamza, Rana and Raja, killed during the gun battle by the security personnel inside Parliament complex.

The court had noted that evidence established that it was only Guru who was in contact with the terrorists and other three accused -- S A R Geelani, the Delhi University college lecturer, his cousin Shaukat Hussain Guru and Afsan Guru alias Navjot Sandhu.

While upholding his conviction and death sentence, the apex court had relied on the interceptions and recoveries including the mobile phones and the money reached to Guru through hawala transaction with the help of terrorists.

"The circumstances detailed above clearly establish that appellant Afzal Guru was associated with the deceased terrorists in almost every act done by them in order to achieve the objective of attacking the Parliament House," a bench comprising justices P V Reddi and P P Naolekar had said in the judgement.

The bench had said Guru established close contacts with the deceased terrorists, more especially Mohammed. Short of participating in the actual attack, he did everything to set in motion the "diabolic mission".

"As is the case with most of the conspiracies, there is and could be no direct evidence of the agreement amounting to criminal conspiracy.

"However, the circumstances cumulatively considered and weighed, would unerringly point to the collaboration of the accused Afzal Guru with the slain 'Fidayeen' terrorists.

"The circumstances, if considered together, as it ought to be, establish beyond reasonable doubt that Afzal Guru was a party to the conspiracy and had played an active part in various acts done in furtherance of the conspiracy," the bench had noted.

These circumstances cannot be viewed in isolation and by no standards of common sense, be regarded as innocuous acts, it said.

His conduct and actions, antecedent, contemporaneous and subsequent action, all point to his guilt and are only consistent with his involvement, it had noted.

"Viewed from another angle, the court can draw a presumption under Section 114 of Evidence Act having regard to the natural course of events and human conduct that the appellant Afzal had nexus with the conspirators who were killed and all of them together hatched the conspiracy to attack the Parliament House and in that process to use explosives and other dangerous means.

"We are, therefore, of the view that there is sufficient and satisfactory circumstantial evidence to establish that Afzal was a partner in this conspired crime of enormous gravity," it had said.

Full Text of Supreme Court's 2005 Judgement

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