Life-imprisonment awarded to HM terrorist in Sarpanch’s killing

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 4: Principal Sessions Judge Bhaderwah, M K Sharma today awarded life-imprisonment and fine of Rs 5000 to HM terrorist Tariq Mattoo, son of Ghulam Nabi of Soti, Gandoh, who killed Sarpanch Sher Mohammad at village Changa on July 4, 2002.
After hearing Public Prosecutor Fareed Ahmed Beigh whereas Advocates N N Gupta and Shekhar Mehta for the accused person, Principal Sessions Judge observed, “faulty investigation cannot alone be ground to acquit the accused in the presence of strong evidence implicating the accused”.
Holding accused Tariq Matoo guilty of offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 RPC, Principal Sessions Judge observed, “this is a case of murder of a Sarpanch of the village without any enmity but with an intention to create terror. There is nothing so uncommon about this crime to deem it as exceptional case in which instead of life imprisonment, death sentence could be awarded”.
“Though a public representative has lost life in the instant case but it does not fall in the category of rarest of rare cases where the death sentence is warranted”, the court said.
Accordingly, the court convicted the accused and awarded imprisonment for life and fine of Rs 5,000 for the commission of offence under Section 302/34 RPC. The court issued General Arrest Warrants against alleged HM terrorists namely Irfan Ali, son of Shafqat Ali Bhat of Kilhotran and Jan Mohammad, son of Hasham Din of Pura Pain.
The Court further observed, “this is a case of faulty and improper investigation. The Police Rules require supervision by superior officers in investigation of cases of serious nature including murder. The State, is, therefore required to direct the police heads of the districts to institutionalize the investigation so that criminal justice system delivers to the masses what has been contemplated in the Constitution”.

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