The Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of two terrorists, Abdul Latif Abdul Rashid Shaikh and Riyaz Ali Abu Bakar Shaikh, who were sentenced in 2016 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for planning to carry out terror attacks in the city.
The two were arrested by the Mumbai Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in 2010 and had been sentenced.
The special court had convicted Abdul and Riyaz to 12 years and 10 years respectively.
The two had approached HC last year challenging the special court verdict on the ground that the prosecution had failed to follow the law in securing their conviction.
As per the plea, both the convicts were arrested by the ATS in March 2010 after the latter received "information that a person based in Pakistan was conspiring with his aides in Mumbai for carrying out terror activities and blasts at several places in Mumbai, including the ONGC building, and Mangaldas market."
In their pleas, the two claimed that most of the prosecution's case hinged on the information gathered by intercepting their telephonic conversations with each other as well as their other aides in India and in Pakistan.
The two argued in their plea that by intercepting phone conversations, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had breached their right to privacy as guaranteed under the Constitution.
Therefore, such evidence must be considered as illegal and invalid, their pleas contended.
He held that provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act hold that the concerned government or an authorised officer can issue directions for such interception if "due to occurrence of any public emergency,or in the interest of the public safety", it is satisfied that this mode of action is necessary or expedient in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India.
"The material gathered by the prosecution in the form of the telephonic conversation shows that the appellants/accused persons were intending to execute the acct with the intent to strike terror in the people using inflammable substance for causing death and injuries to the people at large apart from mass destruction of property," Justice Badar said.
"The conspiracy to commit the terrorist act is writ large from the intercepted telephonic conversations," Justice Badar said.
"All requisite sanctions and due procedure under the UAPA were applied, there was application of mind by the authorities. The prosecution has established that the applicants were conspiring to commit terrorist acts," he said while rejecting the appeals.
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