The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday sought death sentence for all 31 accused who had been held guilty in the Sabarmati Express train carnage case on February 22.
On 22 February, the court while upholding the pre-planned conspiracy theory had convicted 31 people on charges of murder and criminal conspiracy and acquitted 63 others in the 2002 train burning incident, which left 59 karsevaks dead
The special court of Judge PR Patel, however, postponed the pronouncement of quantum of punishment to March 1, after three hours of arguments made by the prosecution and defence lawyers.
J M Panchal, Special public prosecutor of the case demanded death sentence for the 31 accused before the special court under charges of murder and conspiracy. The prosecution has demanded capital punishment by arguing that the incident is a “rarest of rare cases”. It cited a judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Machhi Singh versus state of Punjab.
The defence however pleaded for life terms, citing mitigating circumstances like their age, socio-economic conditions and the roles they were found guilty of, besides their antecedents.
Defence lawyers A D Shah, A A Hasan, I M Munshi, L R Pathan, Yusuf Charkha were present during the proceedings