Delhi HC likely to hear today plea seeking to produce Yasin Malik via VC

Next day, Delhi prison authorities suspended four officers in Malik's security lapse case, an official had told.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court is likely to hear on Thursday Tihar Jail superintendent’s application seeking to produce before court Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, who is undergoing life sentence in a terror funding case, through Video Conference (VC).

The high court is dealing with National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s plea seeking death sentence for him, challenging trial court’s order, which handed life imprisonment to Malik.

The jail authority has sought modification of the high court’s order directing personal presence of Malik during the hearing, saying that the convict is marked as a “very high risk” prisoner, hence he should be allowed to join the proceedings through VC.

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“… it is submitted that the Respondent/Convict Yasin Malik has been lodged in the Tihar Jail, New Delhi under the category of very high risk prisoners and thus, the present Application is in relation to a heavy security issue. Therefore, it is imperative that the Respondent/Convict Yasin Malik is not physically produced before this Hon’ble Court in order to maintain public order and safety,” the application said.

In July 21, the Supreme Court was stunned to see Malik before it as he appeared for an appeal filed by the CBI against a special Jammu court order calling for his physical appearance for trial in kidnapping and murder cases against him.

A bench of Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Surya Kant recused itself from hearing the case and deferred it by four weeks.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had taken issue with Malik’s appearance before the top court, saying that the procedure is that the Registrar of the court needs to approve of such appearances.

He expressed sharp disapproval of the jail officials present in the court for allowing Malik, and apprised the bench that he cannot be brought out of jail since Section 268 of the Criminal Procedure Code applies to him.

The SG added that the Central government will be taking necessary steps to ensure that Malik is not let out of jail again, and said that it is a heavy security issue.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, who appeared for the CBI, said that Malik was brought out of jail callously by the jail authorities upon misinterpretation of the top court’s order.

The next day, Delhi prison authorities suspended four officers in Malik’s security lapse case, an official had told.

Last year in May, Malik — who was pleaded guilty — was sentenced to life imprisonment by a special NIA court in a terror funding case, and was convicted of offences under Sections 120B, 121, 121A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 13 and 15 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) read with 120B of the IPC besides Sections 17, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of UAPA.

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