Supreme Court upholds conviction of ISIS mastermind's wife in recruitment case

The top court found her guilty of criminal conspiracy and of being associated with a banned terror outfit.
Supreme Court upholds conviction of ISIS mastermind's wife in recruitment case
Supreme Court upholds conviction of ISIS mastermind's wife in recruitment case
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The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the conviction of a woman from Bihar, married to an ISIS mastermind from Kerala, on the counts of criminal conspiracy and association with a banned terror outfit with intention to further its activities. 

According to reports, a bench of Justices UU Lalit and Indu Malhotra dismissed the appeal filed by the woman - Yasmeen Mohammad Zahidi - challenging her conviction under IPC Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and Section 38 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The bench restored a trial court order of Ernakulam in Kerala, which had sentenced Yasmeen Mohammad Zahid to seven years in jail. The bench set aside the Kerala High Court order reducing her sentence to three years, saying the quantum of sentence imposed by the trial court was correct and adequate.

"The only ground that weighed with the High Court while reducing the sentence was sympathy. The material on record indicates the role played by Yasmeen. Even at the time of her arrest, while leaving for Afghanistan, certain objectionable material was found on her person," the top court said. 

"The intensity of her participation and involvement were clearly made out. In the circumstances, there was no room for invoking sympathy". 

The bench, however, disagreed with the Centre’s allegation that the woman, who hails from Bihar, had waged a war or attempted/encouraged war against the government of any Asian country which was in alliance or at peace with the Indian government, reports state. The apex court also found that the woman was not guilty, as the centre claimed, of raising funds for the terror outfit or of arranging and managing meetings to ensure support for the organisation. 

Yasmeen Mohammad Zahidi was arrested in 2016 from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi while she was on her way to Afghanistan along with her child to join her husband.

According to reports, a local police in Kerala had first received a complaint that in 2016, the Kasaragod native had first left the country with 14 others, including her husband, to join the IS.  The Supreme Court found her guilty of association, stating that she had attended classes also taken by her husband that propagated ISIS ideology.

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