SC quashes Shaukat Guru’s writ petition

Shaukat Hussain Guru, one of the convicts in the Parliament attack case met his ill-fate on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court quashed his writ petition challenging a ten years rigorous imprisonment.
A two-member Bench headed by Justice P P Naolekar said there was no reason to differ with our earlier verdict.
Strangely Shaukat filed petition challenging his conviction against 10 years imprisonment after the Supreme Court had rejected his review petition and later the curative petition.

The Bench said his writ petition raising the same point already argued in the review and curative petitions which were already heard by us.
Shaukat Hussain was found accused under Section 123 IPC of deliberately concealing information about criminal conspiracy from the police. Section 123 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) equates the concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war.
However, his counsel Shanti Bhushan earlier during hearing contended that charges under this section were never framed against his client and never given an opportunity to defend himself on this point.
Section 39 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) states that, every person aware of the commission of, or intention of any other person to commit any offence punishable under any of the specified sections of the IPC is liable to inform to the nearest Magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention. The person can escape from this offence, only if he holds any solid reasonable excuses, which are: a) I had a reasonable excuse; b) I did inform; c) I did not conceal it intentionally.
The Counsel earlier had contended that Shaukat was found guilty of having information about criminal conspiracy, but did not inform the police deliberately. If he was given chance to defend himself, consequences could be different. The SC simply assumed that Shaukat had not informed.
The decision of Supreme Court comes a day after it had reserved the verdict for Wednesday.
Earlier the trial court had awarded capital punishment to Shaukat, which was also upheld by the Delhi High Court.
The capital punishment however was converted to 10 years RI, for deliberately concealing conspiracy to attack Parliament from police, by the Supreme Court in 2005, when it dropped all Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) charges against Shaukat. He was also fined Rs 25,000.
New Delhi, Wed, 14 May 2008 NI Wire


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