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SC Grants Interim Bail to 'Misguided' Muslim Youth Convicted of Karnataka Church Blast

Izher Baig, along with seven others, was handed out life term by the Karnataka HC under charge of waging a war against India and creating religious disharmony after being held guilty of carrying out serial blasts in the state between June and July 2000.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:December 25, 2019, 10:16 AM IST
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SC Grants Interim Bail to 'Misguided' Muslim Youth Convicted of Karnataka Church Blast
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has released on interim bail a Karnataka church blast case convict, who was dubbed by the high court as a misguided Muslim youth indulging in anti-national activity.

Izher Baig, along with seven others, was handed out life term by the Karnataka High Court under charge of waging a war against India and creating religious disharmony after being held guilty of carrying out serial blasts in the state between June and July 2000.

While the HC maintained that life imprisonment to such accused should be an eye-opener to misguided elements in the society, the Supreme Court bench led by Justice Deepak Gupta has granted bail to Baig for one month after noting that “a balance has to be struck between the seriousness of the crime and the rights of the accused”.

It further took into account the fact that Baig has already been behind bars for more than 19 years. “He has a mother who is more than 70 years old and according to the medical record, the mother is suffering from various ailments… The appeal cannot be heard now. We, therefore, grant interim bail to the applicant, Izher Baig, for one month only,” stated the court order.

Imposing certain conditions, the bench directed that Baig shall report to the Asifnagar Police Station in Hyderabad every day and shall not leave Hyderabad/Secundarabad without the permission of the court.

The apex court’s order releasing one of the convicts in this case appears lenient in the backdrop of the strong words used by the Karnataka High Court in its December 2014 judgment.

While sentencing eight convicts to life imprisonment, the HC had held that their action in attempting to destroy the social fabric is a heinous crime, which cannot be pardoned.

“It is of utmost importance that a strong message is to be sent to all these misguided, evil minded elements in the society and in particular, the youth of the Muslim community to desist from indulging in any such anti-national activities lest the entire community gets a bad name. This is a country and the State, which equally belongs to all religious denominations,” it had said in the judgment.

The high court had added: “It would send a strong message and act as a deterrent to all fence sitters who have imaginary and fanciful ideas of Islamising the whole of India. Such stringent punishment is the need of the hour in cases of this kind to make such persons to fall in line and be a part of the mainstream of the country.”

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