Terming it as a 'rarest of the rare' case, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Tuesday pushed for the death penalty for the three convicts in the 2003 twin blast case in which 54 person were killed. The quantum of sentence would be pronounced on Thursday.
Last week, the special POTA court convicted a husband-wife team of terrorist module - Mohammed Hanif Sayeed (46) and Fahmeeda (43) and their close aide Arshad Ansari (32) for the twin blasts of Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar.
On Tuesday, Nikam submitted before additional sessions judge M R Puranik that since the case falls under the 'rarest of the rare' case category, all the three convicts should be sent to gallows for committing “heinous and brutal” crime and displaying disregard for human lives.
“The convicts were exceptionally cruel and had total disregard for human lives. The bombings, meticulously planned and executed, were of extreme brutality leading to the massacre of innocent people,” Nikam argued.
He further said that it was the manner or the mode of the murder which attracts death penalty for the trio and argued that the convicts not only killed the innocent but also enjoyed the act of killing. “Thus the convicts loose every right to live,” Nikam contended.
However, defence lawyer Sudeep Pasbola representing Fahmeeda sought lesser punishment for her contending that she had not actively participated in the conspiracy of the blasts. “This cannot be considered as a rarest of the rare case for Fahmeeda as she had acted under the influence of her husband who had asked her to accompany him just to camouflage because woman and children do not cause suspicion,” Pasbola argued. “She is a woman who has to look after her two daughters. In such circumstances, Fahmeeda deserves lesser punishment,” he added.
To this, Nikam argued, “Fahimida, although a woman, participated in the crime willingly and no one had compelled her to assist her husband in terrorist acts.” He cited the judgement of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case in which the convict Nalini was awarded death sentence even though she had delivered a child in the jail.
Defence lawyer Wahab Khan representing Hanif argued that he should be awarded life imprisonment instead of death contending that he had committed the crime under the influence of the members of Lashker-e-Toiba who had indoctrinated him. “Hanif did not have criminal antecedents. He had gone to Dubai to earn bread and butter but was lured into conspiracy by Pakistani nationals after he was shown CDs of atrocities on Muslims,” Wahab said.
The two blasts at Gateway of India, a prominent landmark of this metropolis and Zaveri Bazaar, the glittering gold market of Mumbai - on August 25, 2003 have left 54 dead and 244 injured. RDX-based bombs were placed in taxis to trigger the explosions.
The accused also alleged to have been involved in placing an unexploded bomb in a bus at SEEPZ in suburban Andheri in December 2, 2002 and placing bomb in bus at Ghatkopar in July 28, 2003 in which two persons were killed.
(Source: Tuesday, August 04th, 2009 AT 8:08 PM
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