Mumbai: Nine years after a series of bomb blasts in suburban trains rattled Mumbai killing 188 people, a special court here is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment for 12 convicts in the case on Wednesday.
Special Judge Yatin D Shinde had last week concluded hearing arguments on the quantum of sentence when prosecution demanded death penalty for 8 of the 12 accused while it sought life imprisonment for the remaining four.
On September 11, the court had convicted 12 of the 13 accused, all allegedly having links with banned SIMI, while acquitting one.
The accused were found guilty of charges under the Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Indian Railway Act and under MCOCA.
The court also found all the 12 accused guilty under Section 3 (1) (i) of MCOCA, which could also attract capital punishment.
Those convicted are Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohd Faisal Shaikh (36), Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh Alam Shaikh (41), Mohd Sajid Ansari (34),Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Naveed Hussain Khan (30) and Asif Khan (38).
After 12 accused were found guilty, Judge Shinde, later, allowed the defence lawyers to examine witnesses to bring out the mitigating circumstances in the case.
Defence lawyers subsequently examined nine witnesses to show the court that the accused have undergone reformation and thus may not be given capital punishment.
The list of witnesses included the relatives of accused, doctors, teachers etc while one of the convicts examined another accused in Mumbai 2012 serial blasts. After the examination of witnesses, the defence advocates pleaded leniency saying that the 12 convicts were merely the pawns of mastermind Azam Cheema, member of Pakistan based Lashkar-e-toaiba.
They also pointed out that the convicts faced several hardships in jail and that was also one of the mitigating circumstances.
On the other hand, special public prosecutor Raja Thakare called the convicts “merchants of death” and pressed for capital punishment to eight of the twelve convicts.
The charge sheet filed by Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in November 2006 had named 30 accused, out of which 17 of them are absconding.
The absconding which comprise 13 Pakistan nationals, include Azam Chima, an alleged Lashker-e-Taiba member.
Seven RDX bombs had exploded in the first class coaches in many suburban trains on July 11, 2006, killing 188 people and injuring 829.