The special Judge of Gangster Act, Faizabad, on July 17, 2008, had convicted Altaf Hussain alias Mohd. Altaf alias Rohit alias Abdul Rahman and Saleem Qamar alias Neeraj Kumar Singh alias Babu alias Munna under Section 121-A IPC, Section 4 of Explosive Substances Act Section 3 (1) UP Gangster and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act and sentenced them for imprisonment of life and along with a fine of Rs 50,000 each for the offence under Section 121-A IPC, ten years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25,000 each for the offence under Section 4 ES Act, and five years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25,000 each for the offence under Section 3 (1) UP Gangsters Act.
Yesterday almost 8 years later the Allahabad high court set aside sentence of this two accused. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has set aside the conviction and sentence awarded to two terror accused by a Faizabad court in 2008 for conspiring to wage war against the country (under section 121-A IPC ).
The trial court had awarded life imprisonment to both the accused for conspiring to wage war against the country and a maximum of ten years imprisonment under other offences besides a hefty fine. Since both the accused had already served the sentence awarded under Section 4 of Explosive Substances Act and Section 3 (1) UP Gangster Act, a division bench of Justice SS Chauhan and Justice Anant Kumar yesterday directed that the two accused be released.
A FIR was registered against the two accused with Ramjanmabhumi police station in 2008. On being convicted both of them challenged the decision of the Cours before the HC in the same year. The lawyer on behalf of them pleaded that since the accused have served their term of imprisonment under the two facts and because the investigating agency had not obtained prosecution sanction from the appropriate government to initiate trial against them under section 121- A , IPC they must be set free. The court accepted the plea and stated that –
“It is made clear that this court has not interfered in respect of other offences and has not expressed any opinion on the merit of the matter specially so far asthe matter under Section 121-A IPC (conspiring to wage war against the country) is concerned and the matter is decided only on the limited legal issue in absence of sanction under Section 196 (1) CrPC.”