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SC stays death sentence of Mumbai blasts convict The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of death sentence awarded to Abdul Ghani Ismail Turk in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued notice to the CBI while admitting Turk's appeal against his conviction and death penalty by Mumbai TADA Court. The Bench also issued notice to the investigating agency on the appeal of another convict Shaikh Ali Shaikh Umar, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the conspiracy to cause serial blasts in the city. Turk was the first among the three accused to be awarded death sentence in the case. He along with Mohammad Mushtaq Musa Tarani and Pervez Ahmed Nasir Shaikh were given capital punishment after they were found guilty of planting bombs that killed nearly 100 people. Turk, 52, had parked an RDX-loaded jeep in Century Bazar in central Mumbai that killed 88 people (though the chargesheet put the number at 113) -- the maximum casualties among the series of explosions on that day. Another 159 people were injured and property worth Rs 2.41 crore was destroyed in the blast. Turk was also directed by the court to pay a total fine of Rs 2.75 lakh. Shaikh Ali Shaikh Umar, a conspirator, was given a life sentence and ordered to pay a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh. Umar was found guilty of conducting a reconnaissance of the headquarters of Greater Mumbai's Municipal Corporation for an attack. Along with six others, Umar had gone in a Maruti van with the intention of attacking the corporation building on 12th March, the day of the blasts. However, they could not get bullets for AK-56 rifles and dropped the plan and the van was abandoned. Seven AK-56 rifles and four grenades were found in the vehicle. The van was registered in the name of Tiger Memon's sister-in-law Rubeena and it was this clue that led police to Memon, the absconding main accused. Umar was also convicted of aiding in the landing of arms and ammunition before the blasts, taking part in a conspiracy meeting in Mumbai, filling RDX in vehicles used in the blasts and initiating another accused, Gul Mohammed, into the conspiracy.
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