The hearing for confirmation of the death sentence in the twin blasts case of August 2003 and the Ghatkopar bus blast of July 2003 is likely to begin in the Bombay High Court by the end of the year.
The division bench of Justice J.N. Patel and Justice Amjad Sayed on Tuesday asked the high court registry and concerned departments to complete the paper book [bound documents which contain the case details and the evidence] before December 31.
“List the matter for hearing as soon as the paper book is done by next month,” Justice Patel said.
The special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court had, on August 6, awarded capital punishment to Ashrat Ansari (32), auto driver Hanif Sayeed (46) and his wife Fahmeeda (45) for their involvement in blasts at Gateway of India, Zaveri Bazaar and Ghatkopar.
Fifty-six people were killed in the three blasts.
They were also convicted in the SEEPZ case where a bomb was planted in a bus in the depot. The bomb failed to explode.
Only Ansari was produced in court on Tuesday since his appeal against the conviction was listed, said his advocate Sushan Kunjuraman.
Additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamath-Pai informed the court that Hanif and Fahmeeda too have filed an appeal against the sentence.
The high court has asked that all the appeals be clubbed.
Pai also informed the court that the government has appealed against the discharge of two accused — Mohammad Hassan Mohammad Anas Shaikh @ Hassan Batterywala and Mohammad Rizwan Mohammad Issaq Ansari @ Rizwan Ladduwala — who had allegedly prepared and assembled the bombs used in the explosions.
The matter is pending before another bench.