New Delhi, Dec. 13: On the second anniversary of the attack on Parliament, Delhi police today challenged in the Supreme Court the acquittal of S.A.R. Geelani and Navjot Sandhu in the related case.
Delhi High Court had on October 29 acquitted Geelani, a suspended Delhi University lecturer, and Sandhu, alias Afsan Guru, while confirming a trial court’s death sentence awarded to Guru’s husband Shaukat Hussain and Mohammed Afzal.
The bench of Justices Usha Mehra and Pradeep Nandrajog had said: “Prosecution has not been able to sustain the charges against them (Geelani and Guru).”
Delhi police sources today said their voluminous special leave petition focuses on the adequate evidence available to suggest Geelani was aware of the conspiracy.
Citing an example, they said the high court had in its order upheld that Geelani’s interrogation had led to the arrest of the prime accused, Afzal and Hussain. This, the sources argued, meant the former Delhi University lecturer was aware of the larger conspiracy.
Delhi police have also cited various judgments of the higher judiciary to argue that in the absence of direct evidence, circumstantial evidence was enough to prove a person’s involvement in a criminal conspiracy.
They have also challenged the high court observation that the calls Afzal made from his cellphone to Geelani could be friendly in nature as they were known to each other. The court had noted that the conversation, by itself, was not sufficient to infer Geelani’s involvement.
Police officials said Guru was aware of the meetings between the accused to hatch the conspiracy to attack Parliament on December 13, 2001. But she did not disclose it to the police, which is an offence, they added.
The militant strike had killed nine security personnel and seriously injured 16. The five Pakistani attackers — Mohammed alias Leader, Hamza, Haider, Raja and Rana — were killed by security personnel in the ensuing gunbattle.
The martyrs were remembered today by deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Najma Heptullah and parliamentary affairs minister Sushma Swaraj when they offered flowers at the plaque built in their memory in the Parliament complex.
It read: “The martyrs of December 13, 2001. They foiled the terrorist attack on Parliament of India and died defending the democracy.”
Other Union ministers, too, attended the memorial service. Several jawans as well as Parliament officials donated blood at a camp organised in memory of the martyrs. Advani inspected the camp.