On 13th December, 2001 five heavily armed persons practically stormed the Parliament House complex and inflicted heavy casualties on the security men on duty. In the gun battle that lasted for 30 mimutes or so, these five terrorists who tried to gain entry into the Parliament when it was in session, were killed.
Nine persons including eight security personnel and one gardener succumbed to the bullets of the terrorists and 16 persons including 13 security men received injuries. The five terrorists were ultimately killed and their abortive attempt to lay a seize of the Parliament House thus came to an end.
After the conclusion of investigation the investigating agency filed report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. against the four accused persons on 14.5.2002. Charges were framed under various sections of Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (`POTA’) and the Explosive Substances Act, by the designated Court.
The trial concluded within a record period of about six months. 80 witnesses were examined for the prosecution and 10 witnesses were examined on behalf of the accused. 330 documents were exhibited.
The three accused namely Mohd. Afzal, Shaukat Hussain Guru and S.A.R. Gilani were convicted for the offences under Sections 121, 121A, 122, Section 120B read with Sections 302 & 307 read with Section 120-B IPC, sub-Sections (2), (3) & (5) of Section 3 and Section 4(b) of POTA and Sections 3 & 4 of Explosive Substances Act.
Accused 1 & 2 were also convicted under Section 3(4) of POTA. Accused No. 4 viz., Navjot Sandhu @ Afsan Guru was acquitted of all the charges except the one under Section 123 IPC for which she was convicted and sentenced to undergo R.I. for five years and to pay fine. Death sentences were imposed on the other three accused for the offence under Section 302 read with Section 120-B IPC and Section 3(2) of POTA.
They were also sentenced to life imprisonment on as many as eight counts under the provisions of IPC, POTA and Explosive Substance Act in addition to varying amounts of fine. The amount of Rs. 10 lakhs, which was recovered from the possession of two of the accused, namely, Mohd. Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru was forfeited to the State under Section 6 of the POTA.
The designated Judge submitted the record of the case to the High Court of Delhi for confirmation of death sentence imposed on the three accused. Each of the four accused filed appeals. The State also filed an appeal seeking enhancement of life sentence to death sentence in relation to their convictions under Sections 121, 121A and 302 IPC.
In addition, the State filed an appeal against the acquittal of the 4th accused on all the charges other than the one under Section 123 IPC. The Division Bench of High Court dismissed the appeals of Mohd. Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru and confirmed the death sentence imposed on them.
It allowed the appeal of the State in regard to sentence under Section 121 IPC and awarded them death sentence under that Section also. The High Court allowed the appeals of S.A.R. Gilani and Navjot Sandhu and acquitted them of all charges. Hence the accused and the State filed appeals before the Supreme Court of India.
Read full text of the Supreme Court of India Judgment here : State (N.C.T. of Delhi) Vs. Navjot Sandhu @ Afsan Guru, AIR 2005 SC 3820 : 2005 (2) Suppl. SCR 79 : (2005) 11 SCC 600 : 2005 (6) SCALE 177 : JT 2005 (7) SC 1 : AIR 2005 SCW 4146 : 2005 (3) Crimes 87 : 2005 CriLJ 3950 : 2005 SCC (Cri) 1715 : 2005 (5) Supreme 414 , 2005 (6) SCJ 210