Yasin Malik pleads guilty to all charges in 2017 terror funding case
On May 19, a court in Delhi will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence for the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader.
Jammu and Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik on Tuesday pleaded guilty to all the charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act before a Delhi court in a case related to terror funding and secessionist activities in the Valley in 2017, Bar and Bench reported.
Malik was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in April 2019 in connection with the terror funding case.
“The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala transactions, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir,” the agency had said in a first information report.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges under Sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), 20 (being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act along with Indian Penal Code Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition). The maximum punishment for these offences is life imprisonment.
While Malik did not have a lawyer in the case, the amicus curiae appointed by the court told The Indian Express that he was not challenging the charges framed against him.
An amicus curiae is an individual who is not part of the legal matter but offers impartial advice to a court in a particular case.
Special Judge Praveen Singh posted the matter for May 19 to hear arguments on the quantum of Malik’s sentence.
Malik’s Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front was banned by the Centre on March 18 for allegedly promoting secessionist activities.
On Tuesday, the court also formally framed charges against other Kashmiri separatist leaders who said they are ready to face a trial in the case, reported The Indian Express.
These include Farooq Ahmed Dar, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, Md Yusuf Shah, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Md Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rashid Sheikh and Naval Kishore Kapoor.
On March 16, a Delhi court had ordered framing charges against Malik and other Kashmiri separatist leaders under the anti-terror law as well as the Indian Penal Code sections, ANI reported.
“The analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, their close association to terrorist or terrorist organisations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment,” the court had said while passing the order.
The National Investigation Agency has alleged that Malik and other separatist leaders “entered into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in the Valley by way of pelting stones on security forces, systematically burning of schools, damage to public property and waging war against India”, PTI reported.