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In a historic verdict by the Special court: 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts convicts sentenced to death

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In a historic verdict by the Special court: 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts convicts sentenced to death

38 out of the total 49 convicts in the 2008 Ahemdabad serial bomb blast case were sentenced to death by a special court that was designated for the speedy trial under the provisions of the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. 11 of them were sentenced to life in jail till death.

Special Judge AR Patel, while pronouncing the judgement also awarded a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to all those who had died during the blasts. A compensation worth Rs. 50,000 was also awarded for victims with serious injuries and Rs.25,000 for victims with minor injuries. The only one who was convicted under the Arms Act and who is amongst those who are sentenced to death is Usman Agarbattiwala. He has also been awarded a year of imprisonment for conviction under the Arms Act.

The sentences awarded to all the convicts of the case under each section of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosive Substances Act, and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, will run concurrently. The special court has also imposed a fine of Rs. 2.85 lakh each on all the convicts excluding Agarbattiwala who has been imposed with an Rs. 2.88 lakh fine in addition to his sentence under the Arms Act.

The special judge had declared 49 of the total 78 accused as guilty on February 8 under several offences of the Indian Penal Code such as murder, sedition, and waging war against the state along with offences under the Explosive Substances Act, and the UAPA. The judge had earlier concluded the hearing on the aspect of quantum of punishment when the defence presented arguments on mitigating circumstances and sought minimum punishment, and the prosecution had argued on the aggravating circumstances to make a case for maximum punishment that is the death sentence. 

In a historic verdict by the Special court 2008 Ahemdabad serial blasts convicts sentenced to death1 In a historic verdict by the Special court: 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts convicts sentenced to death
In a historic verdict by the Special court: 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts convicts sentenced to death 6

On July 6, 2008, around 22 bombs went off in the city of Ahemdabad at various locations including the government-run civil hospital, the Municipal Corporation-run LG Hospital, in buses, parked cycles, in cars, among other places. The death toll went up to 56 people and the incident left around 200 people injured as well. Two bombs at Kalol and Naroda did not luckily go off. 

As per some of the emails that were sent to some of the media houses of the country, the Indian Mujahideen (IM), had taken responsibility for the said attacks. This organisation had never been heard of until then. Amongst the 78 accused on trial, one of them named Ayaz Saiyed had turned approver in the case. He had allegedly planted several bombs in bicycles and ATMS buses in the Naroda area located in Ahmedabad and the bus had exploded near Sarkhej. 

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