On July 6, 2023, the Supreme Court of India heard the ‘1996 Lajpat Nagar bomb blast’ case in which 13 people were killed and 38 were injured. The case was mentioned before a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court including Justice Vikram Nath, Justice Sanjay Karol, and Justice BR Gavai. The bench sentenced life imprisonment to four people (Mohammad Ali Bhatt, Javed Ahmed Khan, Mirza Nissar Hussain, and Mohammad Naushad) for carrying out a deadly bomb blast in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar. The Supreme Court ordered the surrender of the two convicts (Mohammad Ali Bhatt, and Mirza Nissar Hussain) who were acquitted by the Delhi High Court in November 2012. The SC bench said, “Even though it is the rarest of the rare case, nonetheless considering several factors, we impose a sentence of imprisonment without remission extending to natural life. The accused, if on bail, is directed to immediately surrender. A5 (Mirza Nissar Hussain) and A6 (Mohammed Ali Bhatt) are directed to surrender.” In April 2012, the Trial Court sentenced Naushad to death punishment but the High Court commuted it to life sentence. Both Trial and High Court sentenced life imprisonment to Javed Ahmed Khan.
During the Court proceedings, it was determined that the accused A3 (Mohammad Naushad) and A9 (Javed Ahmed Khan) were part of the plan for future blasts in the nation as well. Further, the bench stated that “The incident took place on 21.05.1996, i.e., approximately 27 years ago; the Trial Court awarded the sentence of death on 22.04.2010, i.e., more than 13 years ago; and the present accused acting at the behest of the principal conspirators; are all mitigating circumstances in not awarding the sentence of death even though it falls within the category of rarest of rare cases.” The Supreme Court then stated that all four are guilty of various offences in relation to the 1996 Lajpat Nagar Bomb Blast case.
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