The CBI Thursday commenced its arguments on quantum of punishment in the Mumbai 1993 serial blasts case.
Special CBI counsel Deepak Salvi had earlier said he would seek maximum punishment for all six convicts — Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, Taher Merchant, Karimulla Khan and Riyaz Siddiqui. On Thursday, Salvi began with submissions on the damage caused by the 12 serial blasts that shook Mumbai on March 12, 1993.
“While deciding on the punishment in this case, the court needs keep two numbers in mind…that 257 persons died in the blasts and nearly 713 citizens were brutally injured. These numbers are sufficient to display the brutality caused by the blasts. The men who caused the blast had brought 1500 kg of RDX (an explosive substance). It would have destroyed the entire city of Mumbai,” Salvi told the court. He further said that innocent citizens had either died or were injured “due to no fault of theirs”.
Salvi then cited various Supreme Court judgments and the latest Law Commission report. “The report has recommended that India should abolish the death penalty except in terrorism-related cases and waging war. In cases of terror, death penalty is required to be given,” Salvi said.
He went on to cite other judgments, including the SC appeal against Yakub Memon, who was convicted in the first part of the Mumbai blasts trial and hanged in 2015. Salvi will continue with his arguments on Friday. On June 16, the special court had convicted six and acquitted one, Abdul Qayyum Sheikh, who made up the second set of accused in the Mumbai 1993 serial blasts case.