Ahmedabad Blasts Convicts To Move High Court Against Special Court Verdict

Of the 49 convicts, 38 were sentenced to death and the remaining to life imprisonment by the special court.

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Ahmedabad Blasts Convicts To Move High Court Against Special Court Verdict

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The lawyers of the 49 convicts in the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts case said they would move the Gujarat High Court to appeal against the guilty verdict awarded to them by a special court.

As many as 38 of the 49 convicts linked to the Indian Mujahideen (IM) have been sentenced to death and the remaining to life imprisonment.

HM Sheikh, one of the defence lawyers, said that the court should not have given the judgment based only on circumstantial evidence and statements of some convicts.

"The judgment runs into 7,000 pages and has not yet been made available to us," the lawyer said, adding that they wanted to study the judgment and formulate their future legal plan.

Another defence lawyer, Khalid Shaikh, pleaded for mercy for his clients. "We expected the court to show leniency and award a less harsh punishment," he said.

A series of 21 blasts had rocked Ahmedabad in a span of 70 minutes on 26 July 2008.

'Will Fight to Save Convicts' Lives': Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind

Reacting to the guilty verdict given by the court, Maulana Arshad Madani, president of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, expressed his sympathies for the convicts.

Vowing to fight to save their lives, he said, "Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind will hire the country's renowned criminal lawyers to save the accused from execution and will fight their cases strongly."

He also said that there were many such instances in which the lower courts had given judgments which were later overturned by higher courts.

"A prime example is the Akshardham temple attack case, in which the lower court had sentenced three people to death and four to life imprisonment. The Gujarat High Court had also upheld the decision. But when the matter reached the Supreme Court all these people were honourably acquitted," Madani added.

On 8 February, the court had found 49 people guilty and acquitted 28 others in the 2008 blasts case. The verdict and sentencing come 14 years after the incident.

The blasts had killed 56 people and injured over 200. This is the first time so many convicts have been collectively given the death sentence in a single case.

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