MUMBAI: The special MCOCA court hearing the July 11, 2006 train blasts case relied heavily on confessional statements of the accused to award the death penalty to five and life sentences to seven others for their involvement in the blasts.
A copy of the order, which was given to the convicts on Tuesday, includes a quote from Chinese philosopher Confucius to justify awarding capital punishment: ‘If justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion.’
The judgement reads, “It is clear that the mitigating circumstances pleaded by all the accused by their nature are not sufficient to displace the aggravating circumstances. They pale into insignificance in the light of the aggravating circumstances. This case, therefore, without any doubt, falls into the category of the ‘rarest of rare case’.”
“These accused are not like hardened criminals, in the sense the criminals whose source of livelihood is crime. They are terrorists with a particular mindset and followers of an ideology that is adverse to the society and the democratically established government,” reads the judgement, while noting that the accused maintained their innocence and thought they could outsmart intelligence and investigating agencies.
“To show leniency or mercy in the case of a crime of such magnitude to the accused, who have shown no repentance or remorse after exhibiting extreme depraved mentality, would be a travesty of justice,” the judgement reads.
“Though I am fully conscious of the irrevocable nature of the death penalty, I have to award death penalty,” the judge notes, adding, “As held by apex court itself, undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system and would undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law and society would no long endure such serious threats.”
Graphic: Mangesh Sawant