KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ruled that Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Sk Abdul Nayeem, who has chosen to personally argue his appeal against the death sentence awarded to him by a district sessions court, will access the proceedings through video linkage from the correctional home where he is kept.
A division bench presided by Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed that Nayeem will be produced physically before it under proper security arrangements only on the dates he advances oral arguments. Three other convicts in the case, who were also awarded death sentences by the district court in North 24 Parganas district, are being represented by their lawyers.
"Sk. Abdul Nayeem will ordinarily access the proceedings through video linkage from the correctional home where he is presently kept," the bench, also comprising Justice Bivas Pattanayak, directed. Nayeem is currently lodged at Presidency Correctional Home in Kolkata.
The bench granted leave to advocate Apalak Basu, assigned by the State Legal Services Authority to assist Nayeem in advancing arguments as per earlier direction of the court, to file petition of appeal on his behalf.
The bench also gave liberty to Nayeem to appear before the Oath Commissioner of the HC under proper security escort for affirmation of affidavits appended to the pleadings. The court directed that the matter will be taken up again on May 19 for admission of appeal.
Nayeem was produced before the HC from Tihar correctional home in New Delhi on May 3 for the hearing of his appeal against the death sentence awarded to him.
Observing that to enable Nayeem to effectively argue his appeal before the HC it is imperative that he be kept in Kolkata during the hearing of the appeal, the bench had directed that the convict be lodged at the Presidency correctional home.
A district court in North 24 Parganas had in December, 2018, sentenced Nayeem to death for "waging war against the country". Nayeem had been apprehended with three others by BSF in April 2007 on suspicion of being members of a terror outfit and the four men were handed over to the local police.
The West Bengal CID, which took over the probe, had charged them with waging war against the country and procuring arms and explosives, apart from other charges.
Nayeem had escaped from custody in 2013 while being taken to Maharashtra for interrogation in connection with Mumbai train blasts case in 2006, but was apprehended by NIA sleuths again in October, 2018 and was lodged in Tihar correctional home.