The Delhi High Court refused to transfer a convict, serving a life sentence in the 1996 Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case which killed 13 people, from Tihar Jail to Central Jail in Srinagar.
The convict, Javed Ahmed Khan, who was a member of the banned terrorist outfit Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front, was held guilty of an act of terrorism by the trial court in April 2010.
His lawyer had submitted that in terms of Rule 59 of the Nelson Mandela Rules, prisoners are required to be allocated, to the extent possible, to prisons close to their homes or their places of social rehabilitation.
The counsel had also relied on the Delhi Prison Rules, which provides for transfer of prisoners.
While upholding the Delhi government’s decision not to transfer Khan to Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Vibhu Bakhru said, “The court cannot be oblivious of the fact that there is terrorist activity in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the petitioner (Khan) has been convicted for an act of terrorism.”
“Although a wish of a prisoner is required to be considered, the same is not the only factor to be considered. A prisoner’s transfer to a prison near his home would, obviously, be subject to security concerns of the State… In the present case, the concerned authorities have examined Khan’s request and have also indicated the reasons for rejecting the same,” the court noted.
The court’s order came on Khan’s appeal against the Delhi government’s concerned department order May 2016 order, whereby his representation for seeking transfer from the Tihar Jail to the Central Jail in Srinagar was dismissed.
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