File photo of the blast triggered by the IM in Dilsukhnagar in 2013.
Hyderabad: Convicts in the Dilsukhnagar bomb blast case on Monday moved the Hyderabad High Court, appealing the death penalty awarded by a special NIA court. They said the National Investigation Agency had failed to establish that they were members of the Indian Mujahideen, a banned terror outfit.
Mr T Srinivasa Rao, additional district and sessions judge cum special judge for scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act, on December 13 had awarded the death penalty to five key operatives of Indian Mujahideen, including its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and a Pakistani national, Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Ajaz Shaikh for the blasts which claimed 18 lives and left more than 100 injured in 2013.
The NIA had claimed that the Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage war against India and decided to carry out bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror further its activities. The appellants in their appeal relied on the ground which was pointed out by the special court judge.
The judge had said that "the question that fails for my determination is does the prosecution prove the accused No 2 to 6 along with absconding accused No 1 (Yasin Bhatkal) during the period between 2010 to 2013 February were members of the unlawful association namely Indian Mujahideen which has been declared as unlawful by notification under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967."
The judge had noted that the prosecution had not produced any notification issued by the Centre under Section 3 of the Act 1967. Meanwhile the NIA special court referred the case to the Hyderabad High Court for confirmation of the death sentence.