New Delhi, Apr 4: The Supreme Court today stayed the death sentence of a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam also issued notices to the CBI on a petition filed by Zakhir Hussain Noor Sheikh, who was sentenced to death by the Mumbai TADA court. According to the prosecution, the petitioner had thrown a bomb in Mahim Fisher Colony in Mumbai which had left three dead and six injured. The apex court also issued notices on the petition of some other convicts in the case. The petitioner contended in appeal that the TADA court had ignored the evidence and also failed to appreciate that there was no evidence agaisnt him showing his involvement in the conspiracy and prayed to the court to stay his death sentence till the final disposal of his criminal appeal. According to the prosecution, the convicts were actively involved in the criminal conspiracy which culminated on March 12, 1993 with Mumbai (then Bombay) being rocked by a series of bomb blasts which left over 200 people dead and 1000 others injured.
A total of 123 people were made accused in the case. Twelve of them were awarded capital punishment.
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt is also one of the convicts in the case and has been awarded six-year imprisonment by the TADA court for possessing illegal arms. His appeal is also pending in the Supreme Court. Mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and Saudi Arabia-based Memon brothers have been declared absconders.