New Delhi: Sixteen years after the Lajpat Nagar bomb blast killed 13 people, the Delhi High Court on Thursday acquitted two alleged JKIF militants, who had been awarded capital punishment, and commuted death penalty of the third to life imprisonment.
Following is the chronology of events:
May 21, 1996: Thirteen people killed in bomb blast at Lajpat Nagar's Central Market.
August 26, 1996: Police file chargesheet in a Delhi court against the 10 accused including a woman. Police also give list of 201 witnesses.
November 20, 2000: Court frames charges of murder, attempt to murder, anti-national activities and under the Explosives Act. The accused claim innocence.
September 1, 2009: District judge transfers the case to court of Additional Sessions Judge SP Garg.
September 7, 2009: Hearing begins in ASJ Garg's court.
March 30, 2010: Court defers verdict.
April 8, 2010: Court convicts six accused and acquits four.
April 13, 2010: Court hears arguments on quantum of sentence.
April 22, 2010: Court awards death penalty to Mohd Naushad, Mohd Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain, awards life sentence to Javed Ahmed Khan. One convict gets seven years' imprisonment. Lone woman convict gets jail term of four years and two months.
July 10, 2010: Four convicts file an appeal in Delhi High Court challenging the trial court's conviction order.
October 12, 2011: The High Court reserves order on their appeal.
November 22, 2012: The High Court reduces the sentence of Mohd Naushad from death penalty to life imprisonment, while it acquits Mirza Nissar Hussain and Mohd Ali Bhat. It, however, upholds life sentence of Javed Ahmad Khan.