SC rejects Mumbai blast convicts’ plea for relief

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected the pleas of three 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convicts that they not be forced to surrender and serve the remaining part of their respective sentences till the president decides on their clemency petitions.

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, while ruling on the plea of Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi, Ishaq Mohammed and Sharif Abdul, said that if such a prayer was allowed, the President’s Office will be flooded with clemency petitions.

Unimpressed by the plea of senior counsel Fali Nariman that a conviction brings an offence to an end but liberty is not taken away, the court said that thousands of people are out on bail and when asked to surrender, they do so.

Earlier, Kazi, Mohammed and Abdul moved the apex court for suspension of their sentence till their mercy petitions are decided by the president. They have cited ailments and the advanced age as reasons for relief.

Kazi, 70, had said that she was being treated for kidney cancer and her condition was so bad that she not only required constant medical attention but also needed an attendant. She said she would not be able to survive in jail.

In her plea, Kazi said that a petition under Article 72 has been filed on her behalf before the president, seeking pardon of her punishment.

Mohammed, 88, and Abdul, 76, cited their age as a ground for relief.

The court dismissed the petition by Kazi and four convicts who sought a review of the March 21 apex court order which wanted them to surrender and serve the remaining part of their sentence.

“We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petitions and the same are accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

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