Defence advocates of those convicted in the July 11, 2006 blasts have expressed shock at the verdict and are now working on the arguments over the quantum of punishment. Once the detailed order is delivered, they plan to move the Bombay high court, they said.
Advocate Sharif Shaikh, who appeared for Ehtesham Siddiqui and Majid Shafi said the accused would challenge the verdict in the high court but for now they were preparing to argue on the mitigating circumstances for lesser punishment.
“The accused were optimistic and were hoping for acquittal as they are all innocent and have been falsely implicated in the case. However, when the court pronounced the verdict, they were all shocked and speechless,” Shaikh said.
Adding that the accused would continue their battle, Shaikh said, “They have not lost hope and still have faith in the judicial system. They will approach the higher court once we get the detailed order.”
Advocate Shahid Nadeem Ansari, who appeared on behalf of NGO Jamiat Ulama E Maharashtra, for legal aid for the accused, said when the accused entered the court they were very confident and full of hope, but were jolted on hearing the order. “Initially, they did not speak but later they accepted the fact. They said they would fight it out in the high court. For two days, we will focus on arguments for the quantum of sentence,” Ansari said.
While Prakash Shetty, who represented six accused in the case said they have to receive a reasoned order and only after that they would take a call on the next course of action.
“The detailed order is yet to come. The court has only announced the verdict while the quantum of sentence is yet to be decided. We will argue that on Monday. It is only after considering the entire order will the family take a call on what the next step should be,” Shetty said.