Warrants against five in 1981 plane hijacking

August 31st, 2012 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) A court here has issued non-bailable warrants against five Sikh militants involved in a 1981 Air India plane hijack, and said they would face a fresh trial for other offences than those they had been earlir convicted of and sentenced to.

The warrants against the five - Tejender Pal Singh, Karan Singh Kini, Jasbir Singh Jima, Satnam Singh and Gajender Singh - were issued Thursday after Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Sameer Bajpai took cognisance of Dehi Police chargesheet filed in the case in 2011. The order was only made available Friday.

Issuing the warrants, the magistrate fixed the matter for further hearing Oct 15.

The militants on Sep 29, 1981 hijacked an Air India flight from New Delhi to Srinagar and forced it to land in Pakistan. They were arrested by Pakistan police and were sentenced life terms by a court there.

The militants were deported to India in 2000 after serving their jail terms. Satnam Singh then approached a court here seeking quashing of case registered here in the hijacking incident.

The court accepted his plea observing that he could not be put on trial for the same offence twice as per the principle of double jeopardy.

Later police approached another court here with a charge sheet filed against the five under the charges of waging war against the country, conspiracy and various other offences.

In his order, Bajpai said that accused will face a fresh trial here in the same case, holding the Delhi Police has filed the charge sheet for different offences.

He ruled that the principle of double jeopardy does not apply as the offences for which they were tried and convicted in Pakistan and for which the present charge sheet is filed are distinct and separate.

“In my opinion, there is sufficient material to proceed against the accused persons. I, therefore, take cognisance of the offences under sections 121 (waging war against Government of India), 121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the state), 124A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said the judge.

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