AI plane hijack: 2 move HC for reprieve

Two alleged Sikh militants, sent back to India in 2000 after serving a life term in Pakistan for hijacking an Air India plane to that country in 1981, have moved the Delhi High Court for quashing a fresh trial against them here for the same offence.

The two also sought quashing of the trial court's order to begin the process to declare them proclaimed offenders (PO) in the case.

Issuing notice to the city police on the plea of Jalandhar resident Tejinder Singh and Chandigarh resident Satnam Singh, Justice Manmohan sought its response by April 8, 2013.

The duo, along with three others — Gajender Singh, Karan Singh Kini and Jasbir Singh Jima — were deported from Pakistan to India in 2000 after serving life term for hijacking an Air India plane and taking it to Pakistan.

The case against the five dates back to September 29,1981, when they hijacked an Air India plane from New Delhi to Srinagar and forced it to land in Pakistan, where they were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

After their deportation to India, they had sought their discharge from the case registered here but a sessions court had dismissed their plea and had asked police to file chargesheet against them.

The two in their plea told high court that "the criminal proceeding against them is arbitrary, perverse and unjustified apart from being contrary to the law and fact".

On October 15, a magisterial court had ordered initiation of proceedings to declare the five as proclaimed offenders as the NBWs issued against them could not be executed.

The NBWs against them were issued by the court in August this year in pursuance of the Sessions court order, which had asked for their fresh trial here in the same hijacking case, but for different offences arising out of it.

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