2008 serial blast case: Gujarat HC issues notices to 38 convicts for confirmation of death sentence under CrPC

Ahmedabad, Mar 9 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notices to 38 convicts in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blast case to confirm their death sentence before it gets executed, under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure [CrPC].

The division bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and Mauna M. Bhatt issued notices to all 38 convicts who were sentenced to death by a special court on February 18.

A special court had sentenced 38 convicts to death and sentenced 11 others to life imprisonment for the blasts, in which 59 people were killed and over 200 injured.

The state government had moved a criminal confirmation case in the High Court under the CrPC for convicts who received death sentences.

As per Section 366 of the CrPC, a death sentence is not executed unless it is confirmed by a High Court in case the sentence is awarded by a sessions court.

At the same time, the High Court cannot confirm the sentence or acquit the persons before the time allowed to prefer an appeal has expired, or the appeal is disposed of, as per Section 368 of the CrPC.

“The court has issued notices to 38 convicts returnable on June 9. The court will hear the confirmation case only if the convicts do not appeal against the sentence before that time. They are allowed 90 days to file an appeal,” public prosecutor Mitesh Amin said.

On July 26, 2008, 22 bomb blasts occurred in different parts of Ahmedabad city. The police had claimed that people associated with the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, a faction of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, were involved in the blasts.

The court had sentenced 49 convicts under Section 16 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which deals with terrorist acts, along with other relevant provisions of the law, as well as Sections 302 (punishent for murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy), of the Indian Penal Code. As many as 28 accused were acquitted.