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Stay on Aftab aide death

The death sentence awarded to Jamiluddin Nasser in the American Center attack case was stayed by the Supreme Court on Monday, following an appeal.

The sentence, awarded by a trial court in April 2005 and upheld by the high court in February 2010, could not be executed till Nasser’s appeal was disposed of, ruled a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

Aftab Ansari, the other accused awarded death for the 2002 terror attack, is in the process of filing his appeal against the sentence, said lawyer Nitya Ramakrishnan, who is representing the duo.

On Monday, the bench also issued notices on a state government appeal against the lighter sentences awarded to five other accused in the case.

The trial court had acquitted two of the nine accused in the case and sentenced the others to death. The high court later confirmed the death sentences of Ansari and Nasser, acquitted Adil Hassan and Rehan Alam and reduced the sentences of Hasrat Alam, Musharat Hossain and Shakil Ahmed.

In its appeal filed through counsel Abhijit Bhattacharjee, the Bengal government contended that the high court judgment acquitting the five of the charge of waging war against the state was “erroneous both in fact and law”.

The petition said: “…it is wrong and erroneous in as much as it failed to appreciate that all these accused persons were part of the overall conspiracy to wage war against the state though they might not have participated in the actual act of waging war.”

Alam, Hossain and Ahmed had been found guilty of forging documents.

Their act amounted to war against the state and could not be seen in isolation, the petition said.

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