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SC declines plea by PFI leader implicated in RSS activist’s murder

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea by Popular Front of India (PFI) member Asim Shariff challenging framing of charges against him in a case pertaining to the killing of an RSS activist in Bengaluru in 2016.

Shariff is the President of the Bengaluru unit of PFI.

The victim Rudresh was hacked to death, his throat slit by a single blow, in the Shivaji Nagar area of Bengaluru on October 16, 2016 while he was participating in ‘Path Sanchalan’, a social programme organised by RSS workers.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi declined any hearing on Shariff’s petition.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had conducted investigations into the matter. Besides Shariff, the agency has charged other people and have also chargesheeted them in the case.

Shariff moved the top court challenging the framing of charges against him in connection with offences such as murder and terror activities.

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi appearing for the NIA told the court that various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention (UAP) Act have been invoked against the accused, as it covers both the act of an individual and a terrorist gang/association, which commit an offence with an intention of creating a ripple effect, especially evoking an atmosphere of fear.

The court observed the chargesheet alleged frequent telephonic conversations between the accused with other four accused persons, “and subsequent to October 16 (the date of the incident) which persuaded the court to arrive at a conclusion that there is a prima facie material of conspiracy among the accused persons.”

Upholding the framing of charges, the court pointed out the truth and the veracity of the conspiracy in connection with the offence will be examined by the subordinate court during the course of the trial.

The NIA counsel told the court that admittedly there was no animosity between the accused and the deceased.

“The nature of the act, including recoveries made, shows that consequences were intended to go beyond the physical act itself and was to create fear in the minds of the people at large and to create insecurity and foster disharmony,” said the counsel.




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