Two of the convicts in the 2006 Mumbai serial train blast case, who were convicted under various provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), sections of the Indian Penal Code and were sentenced to life imprisonment by the special MCOCA Court in 2015, have filed appeals before the Bombay High Court seeking setting aside of their convictions.
According to the appeals filed by Tanveer Ansari and Zameer Shaikh through advocate Ishrat Khan, the trial was unfair and based on circumstantial evidence and confessional statements that were taken from appellants under duress by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) after their arrests.
Ansari and Shaikh, along with nine others were convicted of being part of a conspiracy to set off massive blasts in the first class compartments of seven trains of the Western Railway on July 11, 2006 and they were detained and arrested on July 20 and July 23, 2006, respectively.
The appeals claimed that both had been falsely implicated by the investigating agency and were accused of the conspiracy. Ansari was also accused of visiting Pakistan and getting trained by the LeT, while Shaikh was alleged to have facilitated travel of some of the accused to Iran under the pretext of pilgrimage.
Advocate Khan said that despite the ATS having not been able to submit any concrete evidence against the two, the special court had not taken cognizance of the same and had convicted them based on circumstantial evidence.
The appeal said that both have been kept in prison for 14 years and sought their pleas to be heard at the earliest. The court will hear the pleas in due course.
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