Multiple Phases of Afzal’s Trial
The case itself went through many phases. He was arrested by a Special Cell of the Delhi Police in December 2001 and charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and later the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA). The court-appointed lawyer for the accused later withdrew from the case, citing overload of work, and another lawyer was appointed. A few others, including former Delhi University professor, S.A.R. Geelani, were also arrested in connection with the case and tried.
Trial continued in a special court and concluded in six months following a day-to-day hearing. Afzal was given capital punishment, and so was Geelani. The matter went to the Delhi High Court, which upheld Afzal’s sentence but acquitted Geelani. The Supreme Court too upheld the death penalty, and later on dismissed a review petition filed by Afzal. The convicted terrorist then filed a mercy plea before me.
In November 2012, I had sent seven cases, including…