The apex court on Monday declined to entertain a plea by Popular Front of India (PFI) leader Asim Shariff challenging framing of charges against him in a case related to the killing of an RSS activist in Bengaluru in 2016. Shariff is the President of the Bengaluru unit of PFI.
RSS activist Rudresh was hacked to death on October 16, 2016 while he was participating in a route march organised by the organisation.
A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the PFI leader’s petition.
The murder had triggered national outrage and the case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Shariff is the main accused in the murder. NIA in its chargesheet has slapped terror charges against the accused.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi appearing for the NIA told the court that various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention (UAP) Act have been invoked against the accused, as it covers both the act of an individual and a terrorist gang/association, which commit an offence with an intention of creating a ripple effect, especially evoking an atmosphere of fear, media reports said.
The apex court pointed out the truth and the veracity of the conspiracy in the crime will be examined by the trial court.
The NIA counsel told the court that admittedly there was no animosity between the accused and the deceased.
“The nature of the act, including recoveries made, shows that consequences were intended to go beyond the physical act itself and was to create fear in the minds of the people at large and to create insecurity and foster disharmony,” said the counsel.