2011: Courts finalised old terror, scam cases

New Delhi: Several cases related to scams and terror incidents of yesteryears reached their logical conclusion in 2011 which saw the conviction of veteran politician Sukh Ram besides confirmation of death sentence of LeT terrorist Mohd Arif in the 2000 Red Fort attack case.

The Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of Arif alias Ashfaq, saying the attack on the monument, which resulted in the killing of three army jawans, was an "arrogant" assault and "brazen attempt" by Pakistan "to overawe" India and wage war against it.

The terror cases which had hit the headlines in past and and resulted in conviction included one involving a criminal plot to kidnap cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly in 2002. The case resulted in award of life sentence to six HuJI militants, including three Pakistanis. The trial court which found them guilty said the country cannot be allowed to become a "safe haven" for terrorists.

Besides this, another case under the stringent Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) of the NDA-regime that resulted in successful prosecution, involved five Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) men who had been charged with terror activities in the country.

Noor Mohammad Tantre, Faroz Ahmed Bhat, Pervaiz Ahmed Mir and two brothers Atiq-uz-Zama and Raees-uz-Zama, all hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, were awarded life terms by the court which described them as "merchants of death and destruction".

The year also saw the Delhi High Court upholding the life sentence to political activist Hari Singh for hijacking an Indian Airlines aircraft in March 1993. The court, however, asked the government to consider suitably commuting Singh`s sentence, saying that he had committed the crime "to make a political point."

With corruption cases like 2G scam, 2008 cash-for-vote case, CWG scam and Satyam accounting fraud undergoing adjudication in various courts, Sukh Ram found himself on the wrong side of the law.

A trial court first sentenced him to five years in jail in a 1996 graft case and later the Delhi High Court upheld his conviction and three-year jail term awarded in 2003 in another case arising out of the illegalities committed by 86-year-old Himachal Pradesh politician during his tenure as telecom minister in Centre in mid-nineties.