The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of the death penalty awarded to Md. Jamiluddin Nasir for the terrorist attack on the American Center in Kolkata on January 22, 2002.
The Calcutta High Court in February this year upheld the death sentence given by a lower court to him and the main accused, Aftab Ansari. While three of the other five convicted by the lower court were sentenced to life, the High Court acquitted the remaining two for lack of evidence.
Six policemen were killed and 14 injured in the attack, masterminded by Ansari, stated to be a Dubai-based don. Two motorcycle-borne terrorists opened fire from AK-47 and AK-56 assault rifles on the policemen guarding the American Center. Ansari was arrested in Dubai soon thereafter and deported to India on February 9, 2002.
On Monday, a Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B.S. Chauhan, stayed the execution of the death sentence on the appeal filed by Nasir. Ansari is yet to file an appeal.
The Bench, while issuing notice on Nasir's appeal, also admitted an appeal filed by the West Bengal government, challenging the acquittal by the High Court of two accused persons and seeking enhancement of punishment to the other three, who were sentenced to life.
Counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan appeared for Nasir and senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi, for the government.