LUCKNOW: 92-year-old Dr. Habib Ahmed Khan has reached his home in Rae Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh from the Jaipur Central Jail in Rajasthan. He was released from the jail for 20 dyas after the Rajasthan High Court granted his first parole after the elderly person having spent full 23 years behind the bars.
Dr. Habib was arrested in 1994 in connection with a series of train blasts in 1993. He was convicted along with two others in 2004. The elderly man had tried several times to get a parole but his requests were rejected by the state and central governments. At last his parole petition was accepted by the Rajasthan High Court on 2nd August. He reached home earlier this week.
The High Court bench of Justices Mohammad Rafiq and Goverdhan Bardhar ordered his release for 20 days upon his furnishing one personal bond in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- with two sureties in the sum of Rs.50,000/- each.
The court has also asked him to report to the concerned police station every third day and will have to surrender before the jail authorities immediately after expiry of the stipulated period of 20 days.
“In case, the petitioner fails to surrender immediately after expiry of stipulated period of 20 days, the jail authorities shall immediately inform the concerned Magistrate for procuring his arrest. It will be open for the concerned Jail Superintendent to put any other condition, as per Rules, to secure presence of the petitioner,” said the High Court in its order.
Dr. Habib’s co-accused Ashfaq Khan was granted a parole for 21 days by the Supreme Court of India in May 2017. Khan was also arrested in the same case in 1994 and convicted in 2004. He was also granted parole after 23 years in jail.
Another co-accused, 80-year-old Mohammad Amin was granted a parole for 21 days by the Supreme Court on 6th August this year. Amin, who has been in jail for about 25 years, had approached the apex court after his request for parole to see his ailing wife was rejected by the Rajasthan government.
All three were awarded life imprisonment under the provisions of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Had Written To President, PM and Chief Justice of HC For Dr. Habib’s Release
On 25th July this year, Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan had made a written appeal to President of India, Prime Minister, Governor and Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, seeking release of 92-year-old Dr. Habib on humanitarian ground.
Dr. Habib Khan of Kaharon Ka Adda locality in Rae Barielly of Uttar Pradesh was incarcerated in the Jaipur jail in Rajasthan for the last 24 years on charges of terrorism.
“His age is 87 now. His 77-year-old wife Qaisar Jahan is spending her last days hoping to see her husband before she dies. Dr Habib is accused of giving funds to a terrorist, a charge he denied in court saying that his confession was obtained by torture,” said Delhi Minorities Commission.
In his written appeal, panel’s Chairman Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan requested that “this elderly person may be released on humanitarian grounds so that he may spend his last days with his family.”
Minorities Commission Chairman said in his letter that he is ready to personally stand surety for the bail of the said elderly prisoner.
“Your humanitarian gesture will go a long way to wipe the tears of a family which lost its guardian and bread-winner at a time they needed him most. Now, as he is about to breathe his last, let him die peacefully in the company of his ailing wife, children and grandchildren. I am sure 25 years in jail is enough to satisfy the spirit of justice as he was found guilty only of a secondary crime even though he recanted his confession later, saying in court that it was obtained by torture,” Dr Khan wrote.
He further said: “I am hopeful that your large heart will respond to this humanitarian appeal. Your positive gesture will be welcomed by millions of people in this country and will stand proof that humanity and magnanimity still stand supreme in our country.”
In the last two-three decades, dozens of terror blasts took place in different parts of the country. Soon after the blasts, hundreds of people, mostly from the Muslim community, were rounded up and sent to jail. However, a good number of them were acquitted by the court for lack of evidence after years in jail.