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    2003 blasts: Bombay HC upholds death penalty of 3

    Mumbai: Eight years after the twin blasts that left 57 people dead at the Mumbai's Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar, the Bombay High Court upheld the death sentence of three LeT terrorists in 2003 twin Mumbai blasts case.

    All the appeals filed by the accused have been dismissed by the court. The defence lawyer has said that they will appeal against the order in the Supreme Court. The three have eight weeks to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.

    The court has said that accused number four and five who were discharged at the trial stage by the POTA Review Committee, should be tried under the IPC.

    35-year-old Ashrat Ansari, 49-year-old Hanif Syed and his 46-year-old wife, Fehmida Syed were convicted by the special POTA court in 2009 for planting bombs in two taxis and were held guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the stringent Prevention of Terrorism Act.

    Prosecution had alleged that the trio of Ashrat, Hanif and Fehmida belonged to LeT and had planned and carried out the blasts. The POTA court had also held them guilty for blast in a BEST bus in suburban Ghatkopar on 28 July, 2003, that had claimed two lives.

    They were also held guilty for planting a bomb which didn't explode in a bus in the Special Electronics Export Promotion Zone (SEEPZ) in suburban Jogeshwari on December 2, 2002.

    At least 103 witnesses were examined during the trial, one accused had turned approver, two others were discharged and another one died during the trail.