SC uses computers for hearing Mumbai bomb blasts convicts

New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) The hitech bug seemed to havebitten the Supreme Court which today for the first time useddesktop computers to hear appeals of 1993 Mumbai bomb blastsconvicts, including 10 persons facing death penalty, and CBI''scross appeals for enhancement of punishment.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, afterhearing the preliminary submissions of the counsel for theconvicts and Solicitor General Gopal Subrmanium appearing forCBI, posted the appeals for final hearing from March 29.

Film star Sanjay Dutt was convicted for six years in thebomb blast case and is now out on bail pending his appeal inthe apex court.

However, CBI has chosen not to appeal against Duttwho was acquitted of the charge of conspiracy in the blastsbut was awarded five years imprisonment by a designated courtfor being in illegal possession of arms.

For the first time, the Supreme Court used desktopsduring the proceedings to browse through the over 4,000 pagesjudgement of the designated TADA court which had awarded deathsentence to 11 persons, besides varying terms ranging fromthree years to life imprisonment for 76 others.

The bench adjoured the hearing after the SolicitorGeneral sought six weeks'' time to ensure English translationof the various documents pertaining to the case from Marathiand Hindi.

The designated court had passed the judgements betweenJuly and October 2007 on the trial relating to the infamousserial blasts which had rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993killing over 200 persons and injuring 713.

During the pendency of the appeal in the apex court,one of the convicts Mohd Iqbal, facing death sentence, diedand hence his appeal stands abated (ended). Three otherconvicts also died during the pendency of the appeal.

While the 10 convicts facing death sentence havechallenged their conviction, CBI has filed cross appealsagainst over 40 convicts, seeking enhancement of theirpunishment.

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