Doctor’s Killing: HC Upholds Lifer To Hizb Commander

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has upheld lifer to Hizbul Mujahideen district commander for killing a BUMs doctor, worker of a political party, from Hanjiveera Bala in Baramulla district in 2005.

According to the prosecution, the commander, Maqsood Ahmed Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Mamosa Pattan, caused the death of Dr. Riyazul Hassan of Hanjiveera Bala by the use of prohibited arms and ammunition.

As per the prosecution, Dr Hassan was killed with the purpose of instilling fear in the hearts and minds of the people.

Investigation was completed and the challan culminated into trial. The sessions court Baramulla subsequently convicted and sentenced Bhat to life imprisonment and imposed Rs 10000 fine on him.

“We have examined the impugned judgment in great detail and have also considered the arguments advanced on the part of the appellant (Bhat) as well as on the part of the State with care and circumspection. At the outset we may point out that we find the impugned judgment to be thorough and extremely well reasoned,” a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad said.

The division bench observed that the facts and circumstances of the present case are peculiar.

“Had the case rested solely on the disclosure statement attributed to the accused in case FIR No.64/2005, the rule of prudence would be to seek corroboration of the disclosure statement. But the case assumes a different character on account of the ocular evidence of the incident which has come on record. The instant case no longer depends upon the disclosure statement attributed to the accused. Sufficient evidence has been produced by the prosecution which establishes the instant case independent of, and apart from, the disclosure statement,” the court said and held that it does not find any reason to base the instant case on the disclosure statement attributed to the Hizb commander.

“Similar is the reasoning with regard to the allegation that there was failure to prove the seizure of the weapon of offence in the present case. The non-examination of the ballistic expert is also not fatal to the prosecution case. This is so because the recovery of the rifle (alleged weapon of offence) is not an issue anymore in this case in the presence of the clear and unshaken ocular testimony of (prosecution witnesses) clearly connecting the crime with the appellant,” the court said, adding, “we are clearly of the view that the Additional Sessions Judge has correctly convicted (Bhat) for having committed the offences under Section 302 RPC and Section 7/27 Arms Act.

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