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Bombay HC postpones 2003 blasts case verdict

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 12, 2011 15:41 IST
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The Bombay High Court on Monday deferred its verdict on confirmation of death sentence to three people, including a woman, convicted in the 2003 Mumbai twin bomb blasts case that claimed 52 lives.

The judgement is likely to be pronounced either next week or in the first week of January when court resumes after vacation, Justice A M Khanwilkar said.

Khanwilkar said in his chamber that since fellow judge on the division bench Justice P D Kode was recently transferred to the Nagpur bench of the court, the judgement was not yet ready.

The convicts -- Ashrat Ansari (32), his aide Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and wife Fehmida Sayed (43) were awarded death sentence by a Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court in August 2009 which held them guilty of planting powerful bombs in two taxis that exploded at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar on August 25, 2003, killing 52 persons.

The division bench had on November 12 reserved the judgement on conclusion of arguments by the prosecution, which sought confirmation of death penalty, and the appeals filed by the accused against their conviction.

According to the prosecution, the conspiracy for the terror attack was hatched in Dubai by Hanif, Ashrat and another person named Nasir, who was later killed in a police encounter. Some Pakistani nationals owing allegiance to terror outfit LeT were also behind the attack, police had said.

The trio had been convicted under various sections of IPC, POTA, Explosives Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

In a novel modus operandi, LeT had used a family for the first time to carry out the blasts to avenge the attacks on the minority community during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002, according to police.

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