Jailed terror convict crashes Supreme Court: How did Yasin Malik get in without permission?
Shockwaves rippled through the Supreme Court on Friday when Yasin Malik, the incarcerated Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief, appeared in the courtroom without obtaining the necessary approval. Currently serving a life term in Tihar jail following his conviction in a terror funding case, Yasin Malik was transported to the high-security apex court premises in a prison van flanked by armed security personnel, astonishing everyone present.
The Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, voiced his surprise at Yasin Malik’s presence. He communicated to Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta that a particular procedure was in place for high-risk convicts to appear in the courtroom to argue their cases personally. The bench was hearing an appeal from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against a trial court’s ruling, which allowed Malik to personally appear in court and cross-examine the witnesses in the 1989 kidnapping case of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then union home minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The CBI previously informed the court that Yasin Malik, a prominent figure in the JKLF, posed a national security risk and couldn’t be permitted outside the Tihar jail premises. Following the CBI’s appeal, Yasin Malik wrote a letter to the Supreme Court’s registrar seeking permission to present his case in person. This request was apparently misinterpreted by the Tihar jail authorities, resulting in Yasin Malik’s unsanctioned court appearance.
Tushar Mehta emphasised that the court had not granted any orders or permissions for Yasin Malik to present his case personally. Due to security concerns surrounding Yasin Malik presence, the matter will now be reassigned, as Justice Dipankar Datta recused himself from the case without giving any reasons.
The Solicitor General indicated that Yasin Malik’s unauthorized presence in the court was a consequence of the jail authorities’ careless interpretation of the order. He also stressed the need to take necessary measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future, referring to Yasin Malik as a significant security threat. This sentiment was echoed by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, who proposed that the court may clarify and enact necessary orders to prevent future occurrences of such incidents.
With the possibility of virtual hearings, Justice Surya Kant pointed out that physical presence in the court isn’t a concern anymore. While the CBI was willing to permit the Kashmiri terrorist to argue via video conference, Yasin Malik reportedly declined to appear virtually. Following this, the matter was deferred for another bench to consider and is expected to be listed after four weeks.
Yasin Malik, now detained in Tihar jail, was sentenced by a special National Investigation Agency court in a terror funding case last year. His unsanctioned court appearance has reignited concerns about court security and prisoner transportation procedures.