The 2003 Mumbai twin blasts did not result from “momentary pulse of weakness of mind” but a well thought-out conspiracy, the Bombay High Court held on Friday while confirming death sentences of the three accused.
The division bench of justices AM Khanvilkar and PD Kode confirmed the death penalty awarded to Ashrat Ansari (32), Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and his wife Fehmida Sayed (43) by the special POTA court two and half years ago.
Justifying the death sentence, the high court said, “It falls under the category of rarest of rare case. The acts were not an outcome of any momentary pulse of weakness of mind but were committed out of a well-designed conspiracy.”
Accepting the police’s case that Hanif and Ashrat were members of LeT, the court said the accused, even after the failure of earlier attempt to cause explosion at MIDC, continued to conspire to carry out further blasts.
“They must be dealt with sternly considering our finding that the accused had not committed the offence under influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance but in a well planned manner in furtherance of criminal conspiracy to destabilise the country… The acts were in retaliation to the (aftermath of) Godhra incident,” the HC said.
It further stated that the accused had shown no remorse after causing the death of over 50 people. Refusing to show leniency even to Fehmida, a woman, the court held that she was fully aware of her actions and had voluntarily accompanied her husband for planting the bomb.
“The gravity of the offence is enormous. Lashkar-e-Toiba had hatched the conspiracy in Dubai for taking revenge on atrocities on Muslims due to the occurrence of Godhra incident. Hanif obtained training of handling arms and ammunition before coming to India,” the court noted.
“Considering the evidence adduced and the confessional statements of the accused it leads to the inevitable conclusion that each of the said accused was co-conspirator in the bomb blast,” the judges said.