Life Imprisonment Awarded to Kashmiri Separatist Leader Yasin Malik, Death Penalty Rejected


In a significant development, a bench comprising of justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh is scheduled to hear the case of Yasin Malik on May 29. The trial court had previously sentenced Malik to life imprisonment on May 24, 2022, after finding him guilty of multiple offenses under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code.

The charges against Malik included terror funding, promoting terrorism, and involvement in secessionist activities in Kashmir back in 2017. Although he admitted his guilt, the court did not consider this case as falling under the category of “rarest of rare crimes,” which would warrant the death penalty. Furthermore, the court clarified that the matter of the genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was not within its jurisdiction. The life imprisonment was awarded to Malik for two specific offenses: Section 121 (waging war against the government of India) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 17 (raising funds for a terrorist act) of the UAPA. While the minimum punishment for Section 121 is life imprisonment, the maximum penalty is death.

The court, in its ruling, acknowledged the gravity of waging war against the state but emphasized that the death penalty should be reserved for exceptional cases where the nature of the crime shocks the collective consciousness of society and involves unmatched cruelty and brutality. The upcoming hearing by the bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh holds significance in determining the future course of action in Yasin Malik’s case.


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