By Aqib Ahmad
Srinagar: The Supreme Court of India has posted separate appeals filed by two JKLF activists, Showkat Ahmad Khan and Nazir Ahmad Sheikh, against the life sentence awarded to them by a TADA court in 2012 regarding the killing of a BSF inspector in Srinagar nearly 27 years ago.
Hearing the criminal appeals, a division bench of Justices AK Sikri and RK Agrawal also requested J&K High Court to get the record, pertaining to the case, translated from Urdu to English, as the Central Bureau of Investigation was “experiencing difficulties in getting these translated.”
The court said CBI will bear the cost of translation and ordered that “the request along with the record shall be sent to the high court at Jammu”.
The duo, along with Farooq Ahmed Chichoo, was convicted while Farooq Ahmad Mir, a constable of Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police, was acquitted of the charges by the TADA court at Jammu.
While Khan and Sheikh were sentenced to life, Chichoo was sentenced for five years under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
The case, pertaining to the killing of BSF inspector Dharambir Singh near Sayeed Rehman Sahib market here on 10 October 1990, was investigated by the CBI.
Both Khan and Showkat, after serving a few years in prison were released and they had set up shops in the city.
However, the case at TADA court was pending against them.
The valley on 10 December 2012, had also observed a strike against the TADA court’s verdict and call for it was given by the JKLF, which was also endorsed by Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Geelani.
Both Khan and Sheikh had filed the appeals in apex court soon after the verdict by TADA court and when they came for hearing for the first time on 25 February 2014, the court ordered: “not listed this week.”
On second hearing on 16 April 2014, the court ordered: “As prayed for on behalf of learned counsel for the appellant, list the matters after the ensuing summer vacation.”
Then, the appeals were heard by the apex court on 16 October 2014, and it ordered: “Learned counsel appearing for the respondent (government of India) seeks two weeks time to file the documents. Permission is granted. At his request, the Criminal Appeals are adjourned for two weeks.”
On next hearing on 16 December 2014, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand requested the court to list the matter in the first week of February, 2015. The court granted the permission and permitted her to file “translated documents.” Thereafter, the appeals came up for hearing on 12 January this year and were adjourned as counsel for appellants was busy in another court room at the time of hearing while lawyer for respondents stated that he has some difficulty in the next week.
By Aqib Ahmad