2006 Mumbai train blasts: Bombay HC rejects plea by convict to appear for law exam

2006 Mumbai train blasts: Bombay HC rejects plea by convict to appear for law exam

A division bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and RN Laddha, however, granted Siddiqui liberty to do so when the exam is held next. Third semester exam, for which Siddiqui wants to appear, is scheduled from Feb 2-8.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, February 02, 2023, 12:45 AM IST
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2006 Mumbai train blasts: Bombay HC rejects plea by convict to appear for law exam | File photo

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the plea of July 11, 2006 train blast convict Ehtesham Siddiqui to appear for law exam. He was sentenced to death in the case. The court said there was insufficient time to make arrangements for escort as he’s lodged at Nagpur prison. 

A division bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and RN Laddha, however, granted Siddiqui liberty to do so when the exam is held next. Third semester exam, for which Siddiqui wants to appear, is scheduled from Feb 2-8.

He was arrested after seven serial blasts rocked the Mumbai suburban network in July 2006. The special court convicted him and four others and sentenced them all to death under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA). The blasts had claimed 189 lives and injured 800 others.

The Maharashtra government has sought to confirm his death sentence and his appeal challenging the conviction and sentence are pending hearing. 

Siddiqui, as an undertrial prisoner, completed his first two semesters of the three-year course from Siddharth Law College, Mumbai, in 2014-15. He said he wanted to pursue his studies again. The college told him that he would be issued a hall ticket if the court asked for it.

Advocate Mujahid Ansari, who was appointed from the legal aid cell to represent Siddiqui, said that he was taken to the examination centre by the prison authorities under escort in 2014-15 at the cost of the state and the same should be done this time. 

Special Public Prosecutor Avdhut Chimalker pointed out that prisoners have to first make an application to the DIG, Prisons, as per a Feb 10, 2022, notification. Hence, Siddiqui should first approach the DIG, said Mr Chimalkar. 

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