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Bombay High Court: Was death row man allowed phone call?

Shaikh, held guilty of conspiracy in the 2006 serial train bombings, was sentenced to death by a special MCOCA court.

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188 lives were lost in the 2006 blasts
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The Bombay High Court has asked prison authorities to reply by Thursday on whether they allowed death row convict Faisal Shaikh to make a phone call to his mother from inside the prison. Shaikh, held guilty of conspiracy in the 2006 serial train bombings, was sentenced to death by a special MCOCA court.

A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and AS Gadkari, while rejecting emergency parole leave sought by Shaikh, had asked the Yerwada prison authorities earlier this month to consider his application to allow him to speak to his aged mother. The application was made on January 14, soon after prison authorities rejected his parole application.

Advocate Farhana Shah, appearing for Shaikh, argued that Shaikh "could have been taken in police escort as parole was sought on grounds of his father's death". However, the prosecution opposed the plea, saying cases of all convicts except foreigners and those on death sentence can be considered for grant of emergency parole. The court agreed with the prosecution's contention.

However, as regards the request for a phone call to his mother, the bench said, "We are surprised to note that this application is pending since January 14. Considering the nature of the request, immediate consideration of the application is mandatory."

Shaikh is one of 12 persons convicted in the blasts case. He is alleged to have worked with Azam Cheema, LeT commander-in-chief, and is alleged to have received arms training in Pakistan.

Black Tuesday

Seven serial blasts had ripped through Mumbai’s local trains on July 11, 2006. 188 persons died while 817 were injured. Five persons were sentenced to death while seven were given life imprisonment. One person was acquitted.

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