New Delhi: The trial against Wasim Akram Malik, arrested for his alleged role in the September 2011 Delhi High Court blast, will commence on Monday in a Delhi court. The special NIA court had framed charges against Malik including that of waging war against India and fixed April 1 for recording of evidence in the case.
District judge IS Mehta will start the trial by recording the statement of co-accused-turned-approver Amir Abbas Dev, who was also arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the blast but had later turned approver and was granted pardon by the court. The blast had left 15 people dead.
The court had framed charges under sections 121 (waging war against country), 121-A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state), 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against government) and 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate a design to wage war) of the IPC against Malik. Earlier, the trial court had declined NIA's plea to prosecute Malik under stringent charge of waging war against India which entails maximum punishment of death penalty, but the Delhi High Court had ruled otherwise.
The trial court said that merely because an e-mail referring to the release of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged on February 9, was sent by the accused after the blast, it does not mean that an offence against the state was committed. However, the High Court had on December 3, 2012 ordered the trial court to frame charges of waging war against the country against Malik, who is lodged in jail under judicial custody, after which the special NIA court had framed additional charges against him under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code.