Division Bench Affirms Life Imprisonment Of Militant

SRINAGAR: The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court’s Division Bench, consisting of Justice Rajnesh Oswal and Justice Mohan Lal, has affirmed the life imprisonment sentence given by Additional Sessions Judge Handwara to militant Mushtaq Ahmad Malla.

As per the prosecution’s version of events, on 22.12.2005, the Handwara Police Station received information that two militants, one of whom was identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Malla, the son of Ghulam Ahmad Malla from Shotgund, had shot and killed Tariq Ahmad Malik, the son of Abdul Qayoom Malik from Guloora, indiscriminately at Adoura, leaving his corpse at the scene.

Upon receiving this information, First Information Report (FIR) No. 337/2005 was filed for the alleged offenses under Sections 302 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) and Section 7/27 of the Arms Act. Following the conclusion of the investigation, the accused was presented with a challan and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment on December 31, 2021. After hearing arguments from both parties, the Division Bench (DB) noted that the trial court had considered and addressed all of the accused-appellant’s concerns following the law, citing various judgments from the Apex Court.

“The trial court, though it convicted the appellant for the commission of an offense punishable under Section 7/27 of the Arms Act, rightly did not sentence him for the punishment prescribed under Sub Section 3 of Section 27 of the Arms Act because the Apex Court has declared the Sub Section 3 of Section 27 of Arms Act as unconstitutional,” the DB stated. Furthermore, the DB noted, “the trial court has sentenced the appellant to undergo imprisonment for life after holding him guilty of the offense punishable under Section 302 of the RPC, and we do not find that the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to the appellant is disproportionate to the offense committed by him, particularly when Section 302 RPC provides punishment of either death penalty or imprisonment for life.”

“We also find that the trial court has rightly convicted the appellant for the commission of the offense under Section 201 of the RPC, particularly when there was direct evidence regarding the killing of the deceased by the appellant by gun and subsequently running away from the appellant from the place of occurrence with a gun,” the DB added. The DB concluded by stating, “we do not find any illegality or infirmity in the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 31.12.2021 passed by the trial court.”


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