Bombay High Court To Soon Hear Appeals Of 7/11 Train Blasts Convicts After Long Delay

Bombay High Court To Soon Hear Appeals Of 7/11 Train Blasts Convicts After Long Delay

A bench of Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande was hearing an application filed by one of the convicts Ehtesham Siddique seeking early hearing of the appeals.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, July 03, 2024, 12:12 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

Mumbai: Noting that the appeals filed by the convicts in the 7/11 serial train blasts case was pending since quite some time, the Bombay High Court said it will soon hear their appeal against the convictions and sentence. The state government has also filed a plea seeking confirmation of the death sentence of the convicts.

A bench of Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande was hearing an application filed by one of the convicts Ehtesham Siddique seeking early hearing of the appeals. Siddique's counsel Yug Chaudhry submitted that the accused in the case have been behind bars for the last 18 years and their appeals have not been taken up for hearing yet.

Chaudhry said that the convicts were arrested in 2006, were convicted in 2015 and this is the oldest confirmation of death sentence petitions pending before the HC. “Since these appeals and petitions for confirmation were filed in the high court, 14 other petitions of other convicts for confirmation have been heard but train blast convicts are not being heard,” Chaudhry said.

He said that the appeal have not been heard due to it’s voluminous documents and evidence — 192 prosecution witnesses, 51 defence witnesses, 190 huge volumes of papers. Saying that it would not be deterred by the voluminous documents, the bench asked estimated time required for the arguments. “We need a time estimate of how long this will take (for hearing to conclude). We understand that 18 years is a long time,” the bench said.

Chaudhry and special public prosecutor Raja Thakare informed that if the matter is taken up for hearing on a day-to-day basis then it can be wrapped up in six months. The judges said they would decide on it this week. On July 11, 2006, RDX blasts at seven locations on the suburban rail network of Mumbai in a span of 11 minutes had claimed 189 lives and injured 800.

In September 2015, the special MCOCA court had awarded death sentences to five convicts and life imprisonment to seven others. The state government then filed an appeal in HC seeking confirmation of the death penalty. A death sentence awarded by the trial court has to be confirmed by the HC. The convicts too filed an appeal against their conviction and the state also filed a plea as

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