SC dismisses review plea of Kashmiri separatist leader

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New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea of Kashmiri separatist leader and former member of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen Ashiq Hussain Faktoo for review of its verdict sentencing him to life imprisonment for killing human rights activist H.N. Wanchoo.

A three-judge bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice P.C. Pant and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar dismissed Faktoo’s review plea, saying the comprehension of the accused that the earlier judgement was “erroneous” would not enable the court to “reopen” the entire case.

Faktoo, who is in jail since 1993, is husband of Asiya Andrabi, also a separatist leader and chairperson of Islamist women’s organisation Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

In its order, the bench said: “The present writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by no stretch of reasoning would fit into any of the permissible categories of post conviction exercises permissible in law as laid down by this court.

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“The doctrine of ex debito justitiae being circumscribed by the judgment of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra …it is for the petitioner to exhaust the said remedy, if is he so inclined and so advised.

“Merely because in the comprehension of the writ petitioner the judgment of this court is erroneous would not enable the court to reopen the issue in departure to the established and settled norms and parameters of the extent of permissible exercise of jurisdiction as well as the procedural law governing such exercise.”

It added: “We, therefore, hold that the present writ petition is not maintainable and is accordingly dismissed subject to the observations as above.”

Faktoo, through his lawyer, had told the court that his confession recorded under the now-defunct TADA anti-terrorism law was not admissible as evidence on grounds including that it was not corroborated.

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