Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hijackers accused of waging war against India move Delhi HC, seek quashing of charge

New Delhi: Two of the hijackers of an Air India flight in 1981, Satnam Singh and Tejinderpal Singh, moved the Delhi High Court on Friday with a plea that the charge of waging war against India, framed against them by a trial court, be quashed. The plea came up for before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who issued notice to Delhi Police and asked them to file a status report by July on the plea.

The two — along with Gajinder Singh, Jasbir Singh and Karan Singh — had hijacked the New Delhi-Srinagar flight to Pakistan on September 29, 1981. All five belonged to pro-Khalistan radical outfit Dal Khalsa and were demanding release of jailed Khalistani leaders.

Satnam and Tejinderpal have challenged the charge of waging war against India, which entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Both are out on bail.

The two returned to India in 1999 after undergoing 14-year imprisonment in Pakistan, where they were convicted and sentenced for kidnapping and hijacking. On return, a case was registered against them in India under IPC Sections 124-A (sedition), 121- A and 121 (waging war against nation) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy). The trial court dropped the sedition charges.

After their deportation, the two sought discharge from the case registered here. Subsequently, Satnam was discharged in the case. After Tejinderpal sought the same relief, cases against both were reopened.
12/05/18 Pritam Pal Singh/Indian Express