DELHI: Recently, Delhi High Court has rejected the plea application of Jaish-e-Mohammed who is a convicted member of the banned terror outfit. The convicted submitted a plea application to transfer his case from Delhi’s Tihar jail to his native place in Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar jail.
In his application the convict requested plea on his medical grounds.
The Conviction was done under an offence of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) sections 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation), 18 (conspiracy), 21 (punishment for holding proceeds of terrorism) along with Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 122 (collecting arms, etc., with intention of waging war against the Government of India) and was serving life sentence at the ‘high-risk ward’ in Tihar Jail. The Supreme Court affirmed his conviction in February 2020.
The single bench was headed by Justice Poonam A Bamba and during a trials the convicted argued that he was 66 years old and suffering from many ailments, and his health was deteriorating every day. His family members — two daughters, 18 and 20 years, a son aged about 26 years, and his mother — are unable to visit him frequently and being close to his family would help him recover better, he argued.
He further states that rules 664 and 672 of the Delhi Prison Rules, 2018, provide for the transfer of prisoners on humanitarian as well as medical grounds and he deserved to be transferred to the Srinagar jail. Lieutenant Governor, Delhi, on September 24, 2021, rejected his application for transfer to the Srinagar jail
The prosecution argued that “there is every likelihood of the convict managing to flee from any other jail, considering his past conduct”. They further submitted that Baba’s transfer may have “law and order repercussions in both, the transferring and the receiving state”.
The high court perused the September 2015 security advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the shifting of high-risk prisoners from the jail of one state/Union territory to the jail of another.
The high court observed that the government has to be cautious in the transfer of high-risk prisoners convicted in terror-related cases, taking into account the security implications of such transfers in both the transferring and the receiving state/Union territory.
Agreeing with the prosecution, the high court in its November 3 order held, “No doubt, Rules 664 and 672, Delhi Prison Rules, 2018, provide that the prisoner may be transferred from one prison to another on medical and humanitarian grounds with prior approval of the State Government. However, in view of the above facts and circumstances and taking into account the apprehension of law and order repercussions expressed by the State pursuant to evaluation of the security risk in transfer of the petitioner from Central Jail Tihar, Delhi to Srinagar Central Jail, this court is not inclined to grant the prayer of the petitioner”.
The court further noted that although the choice of a convict for transfer should be respected subject to security, public interest etc., in Baba’s case the state had expressed its apprehension of law and order repercussions in both Delhi and Kashmir.
On Baba’s health concerns, the court took into account Tihar Jail’s medical officer’s report and noted that he was being provided “due medical care and treatment”.