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HC admits appeals by two convicts in multiple blasts case

Mumbai serial bomb blast case 2002-03 being produced in a session court

Mumbai : The Bombay High Court today admitted the appeals filed by two persons convicted recently under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) for the 2002-2003 multiple blasts and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

A division bench of Justices N H Patil and A M Badar admitted the appeals filed by Ateef Mulla and Hasib Mulla challenging a special POTA court’s order convicting them in the blasts case and sentencing them to ten years.

On the duo’s bail applications, the court issued notice to the Maharashtra government and posted it for hearing after two weeks.

The duo in their appeal claimed that the trial court erred in law in convicting them on the basis of “unreliable, tainted and legally inadmissible evidence” as the prosecution has miserably failed to adduce “cogent and sufficient independent evidence” to prove their involvement.

Apart from these two, a local court had recently convicted eight others including conspirators Saquib Nachan and planter Muzameel Ansari for planning and executing triple blasts at Mumbai Central, Vile Parle and Mulund in 2002-2003.

The court had acquitted three persons due to lack of evidence.

On April 6, a special POTA court here had sentenced to life three of the ten convicted in the multiple blasts that rocked the metropolis between December 2002 and March 2003, while key accused Saquib Nachan was given a ten-year jail term. Six others were awarded various jail terms ranging from 2-10 years.

Twelve people were killed in Mulund train blasts on March 13, 2003. Prior to that, on December 6, 2002, several persons were injured in a blast at McDonald’s at Mumbai Central station, while a person had died in a blast in a market in Vile Parle (East) on January 27, 2003.

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