Mumbai, Oct 1: The sentencing of the 7/11 Mumbai serial train blast convicts has brought closure to the families of the victims.
While many of the families of the victims wanted death penalty for all the 12 convicts, they however add that they humbly accept the verdict of the court.
The question is has justice been done? Yes only the first phase of justice has been done. There is still a long way to go before this case attains a finality as there are still two rounds of appeals pending- one before the High Court and the other before the Supreme Court.
If the death sentences are upheld by the Supreme Court, then the matter goes up before the President of India.
Speed up the process:
One of the fathers of the victims, Santhosh Sawant points out that it has already been a long wait. The trial commenced in 2007 and it has taken 8 long years.
Barring the 26/11 case all others have dragged on for several years including the 1993 serial blasts case he points out.
However, going by the arguments that were put up by the defence at the trial stages, it clearly suggests that the appeal process will take at least another five to 6 years before the Supreme Court finally disposes off the case.
Legal experts say that the 26/11 trial and appeal cannot be compared here. There was never any strong appeal in that case and the process before the High Court and the Supreme Court went through fast.
However, take the 7/11 or the 1993 serial blasts case.
There have been appeals galore in these cases. In the case of Yakub Memon, appeals were filed even hours before his hanging and this had delayed the entire process.
The same can be expected in the 7/11 case as well, legal experts would also argue.
Defence and Prosecution will file appeals:
This case when it goes up before the High Court of Bombay would witness appeals being filed by both the defence as well as the prosection.
The defence would ask for reduction of sentence for those who were awarded life sentences. Moreover the defence would also argue against the death sentences awarded to five persons.
The prosecution on the other hand would seek enhancement of sentences. It had asked for death sentence for 8 persons.
However, the trial court awarded death sentences only to five persons. The prosecution will now file an appeal seeking enhancement of sentence for the three other persons.
The rule is that any order of death sentence awarded by a trial court attains a finality only once it is confirmed by the High Court.
However, in cases filed under TADA, the appeal goes up directly before the Supreme Court.