HC verdict in 2003 Mumbai twin bomb blasts likely

The Bombay High Court is likely to pronounce today its verdict on confirmation of death sentence to three people, including a woman, convicted in the 2003 Mumbai twin bomb blasts case.

A division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and P D Kode had on November 12 last year reserved its judgement in the case.

Ashrat Ansari (32), Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and his wife Fehmida Sayed (43) were awarded death penalty by a Special 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 in South Mumbai on August 25, 2003, killing 52 persons.

This was the first time a married couple was convicted for terror activities and awarded death sentence.

While the convicts appealed against the sentence, the Maharashtra government sought confirmation of the death penalty.

According to the prosecution, the conspiracy of the terror attack was hatched in Dubai by Hanif, Ashrat and another person, Nasir, who was later killed in a police encounter.

Some Pakistani nationals owing allegiance to terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were 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.

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

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