Warrants against five Sikhs in 1981 Air India hijacking

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September 1, 2012

A court in Delhi has issued warrants against five Sikh militants who were earlier charged and found guilty of hijacking an Air India plane to Pakistan. The five already served jail terms in Pakistan, but court noted that the new charge sheet by the Delhi police included accusations for additional crimes.

September 1, 2012

A court in Delhi has issued warrants against five Sikh militants who were earlier charged and found guilty of hijacking an Air India plane to Pakistan. The five already served jail terms in Pakistan, but court noted that the new charge sheet by the Delhi police included accusations for additional crimes.

An Air India Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft

A court in New Delhi has issued non-bailable warrants against five Sikh militants involved in a 1981 Air India plane hijack, and said they would face a fresh trial for other offenses than those they had been earlier convicted of and sentenced to.

The warrants against the five – Tejender Pal Singh, Karan Singh Kini, Jasbir Singh Jima, Satnam Singh and Gajender Singh – were issued Thursday after Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Sameer Bajpai reviewed a charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in the case in 2011. The order was made public on Friday.

Issuing the warrants, the magistrate scheduled a further hearing date on Oct 15.

The militants hijacked an Air India flight from New Delhi to Srinagar on Sept29, 1981 and forced it to land in Pakistan. They were arrested by Pakistan police and were sentenced life terms by a court there.

The militants were deported to India in 2000 after serving their jail terms. Satnam Singh then approached a court in Delhi with an attempt to quash the case registered in India in the hijacking incident.

The court accepted his plea observing that he could not be put on trial for the same offence twice as per the principle of double jeopardy.

Later police approached another court with a charge sheet filed against the five under the charges of waging war against the country, conspiracy and various other offenses.

In his order, Bajpai said that accused will face a fresh trial in the same case, maintaining that the Delhi Police has filed the charge sheet for different offenses.

He ruled that the principle of double jeopardy does not apply as the offenses for which they were tried and convicted in Pakistan and for which the present charge sheet is filed are distinct and separate.

"In my opinion, there is sufficient material to proceed against the accused persons. I, therefore, take cognisance of the offences under sections 121 (waging war against Government of India), 121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state), 124A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)," said the judge.


Courtesy: IANS

 

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