Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, November 12, 2011
Arguments on confirmation of death sentence awarded to three convicts in the 2003 Mumbai twin bomb blast case concluded on Saturday before the Bombay high court.
Division bench of justices AM Khanvilkar and PD Kode would deliver the verdict on December 12, said advocate Sushan(t) Kunjuraman, defence lawyer. The bench held a special hearing today to hear the final arguments.
Ashrat Ansari (32), Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and his wife Fehmida Sayed (43) were held guilty on charges of planting powerful bombs in two taxis which exploded at Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar respectively on August 25, 2003, killing 52 persons.
The conspiracy had been hatched by Hanif, Ashrat, Nasir (who was later killed in a police encounter) and some Pakistani nationals owing allegiance to LeT in Dubai, as per the prosecution case.
The trio, who belonged to LeT, have also been found guilty by a POTA court for a blast in a municipal bus in suburban Ghatkopar on July 28, 2003, in which two people were killed.
In the present case, the three were convicted under various Sections of IPC, POTA, Explosive Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
According to police, LeT used a family (husband-wife) to carry out blasts for the first time in this case. The motive, investigators said, was to seek vengeance for the violence against the minority community during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002.
As the convicts were given death sentence by trial court, the matter was sent to the Bombay High Court for confirmation, as required under the law.
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