The 38 convicts in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case deserve the death penalty because allowing them to stay in society is akin to publicly releasing a “man-eater leopard” that consumes innocents without worrying about it. whether it be children, young people, the elderly or the people of different caste and communities, the special court said in its order.
A copy of the verdict was made available on Saturday.
The special court sentenced 38 members of the terror group Indian Mujahideen (IM) to death on Friday for the bombings in Ahmedabad that killed 56 people and injured more than 200 on July 26, 2008. It also handed life sentences to an additional 11 IM convicts in the case.
It is the first time in the country that the maximum number of death sentences has been handed down by a court in one sitting.
“The convicts caused unrest in a peaceful society and carried out anti-national activities while living here. They have no respect for the constitutionally elected government in the Center and in Gujarat, and a few believe only in Allah and not in the government or the judiciary,” Special Judge AR Patel said in the injunction.
The court noted that there was no need for the government to keep the convicts in prison, especially those who said they believed only in their God and no one else, and that there is no prison in the country where they can live forever. are held.
“If such people are allowed to stay in society, it will be like releasing a man-eater leopard in public. Such convicts are like a man-eater leopard eating innocents in society, including children, youth, the elderly, women, men, newborns and people of different caste and communities,” the judge noted.
The court also stated that it believes the death penalty will be reasonable, as the case falls into the “rarest of the rare” category.
The prosecution had demanded the death penalty for all 49 convicts in the blast case, including those who hatched the conspiracy and those who planted bombs.
“For the people who carry out such terrorist activities, the death penalty is the only option, for the sake of the peace and security of the country and its people,” the court noted of the 38 convicted.
The court handed out life sentences to the end of their natural lives on 11 other convicts and said their crime was less serious compared to the main conspirators.
“They took part in the conspiracy along with the main conspirators, and participated in terror training camps in the jungles at Halol-Pavagadh in Gujarat, and Vaghmon in Kerala of their own accord, but their role in the crime does not involve the death penalty.
“But if they get anything less than jail time until their last breath, then these convicts will commit similar crimes again and help others, is also certain,” the court said.
Responding to arguments from some of the convicts that they were framed for being Muslim, the court noted that it cannot accept this because there are millions of Muslims in India who live as law-abiding citizens.
“Why did the investigating officers only arrest these people? Others should have been arrested if they were also involved in the case. Detectives are responsible people,” the court said.
Police had alleged that members of the IM, a radicalized faction of SIMI, were behind the explosion in Ahmedabad planned to avenge the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, killing more than 1,000 people, most of them from the Muslim community, were left behind. dead.
While 38 people were sentenced by the court under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 11 others were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and under various sections of the UAPA, the prosecutor had said. The court imposed a fine of Rs 2.85 lakh on 48 convicts and Rs 2.88 lakh on another convict.
It also awarded damages of Rs one lakh to the relatives of those who died in the blast, Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured and Rs 25,000 to those who suffered minor injuries.
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