New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear the appeal proceedings against the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convicts from January 11, 2011.
A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan also issued notices to the convicts on the CBI`s appeal seeking enhancement of punishment for them.
The bench, however, inquired from Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium as to why there was a delay of 880 days in filing the appeal for enhancement of punishment.
Admitting that there was considerable delay, Subramanium attributed the same to the voluminous 4,300 page judgement of the special TADA court which, he said, the
prosecution had to minutely examine before filing the appeal.
The special TADA court had convicted 100 people in the Mumbai blasts case.
Among the convicts was Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was sentenced to six years in jail under the Arms Act but was exonerated for terror offences under the stringent TADA
(Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act).
The CBI, which has prosecuted the case for around 14 years involving 123 accused, preferred not to appeal against the special court verdict, acquitting 50-year-old Dutt under
The blasts had killed 257 people and left over 700 injured in the country`s commercial capital.
Among the convicts, 12 were awarded death sentence and 20 got life imprisonment.
Those sent to gallows by TADA judge PD Kode included Yakub Memon, brother of prime absconding accused Tiger Memon, who along with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Mohammed Dossa were alleged to have hatched the conspiracy in Dubai to
target Mumbai after communal riots ravaged the city in January 1993.
Others sentenced to death are -- Shoaib Ghansar, Asghar Mukadam, Shah Nawaz Qureshi, Abdul Ghani Turk, Parvez Shaikh, Mohammad Iqbal Mohammad Yusuf Shaikh, Mohammad Farooq Pawale, Mushtaq Tarani, Zakir Hussain, Abduk Akhtar Khan and
Firoz Amani Malik.
Among the 20 sentenced to life imprisonment included Essa Memon, Yusuf Memon, Rubina Memon, Naseem Barmare, Imtiaz Ghavate, Bashir Khairulla, Moin Qureshi, Dawood Phanse, Abdul Gafoor Parker and Vijay Patil.
After the convictions were challenged, the apex court stayed the execution of death sentences.
The agency has also filed appeals in the case of two women accused. It has sought enhancement of punishment of Zaibunnisa Kazi, convicted under TADA for keeping arms delivered to her by Abu Salem after visiting Dutt, besides challenging the acquittal of Rukshana Zariwala.