A Mumbai anti-terror court, on Wednesday, imposed a cost of Rs 2,000 on the 1993 serial blasts case convict Feroz Rashid Khan for not examining two witnesses called by him. Khan’s lawyer Wahab Khan had earlier said he wanted to examine them to establish the ‘mitigating circumstances’ entitling his client to mild sentencing in the case.
Advocate Khan, however, today filed an application saying he didn’t want to examine the witnesses now and would do it at a later stage. He also said he cannot disclose the reasons for this. These two witnesses — one of them a convict, another an undertrial — had been brought to the court.
Special prosecutor Deepak Salvi said that with Feroz’s refusal to examine them now, efforts of police and jail officials to make arrangements to bring them to the court, including provision of a special vehicle, had gone to waste. He also wasted the court’s time, Salvi said.
The judge G A Sanap then imposed a cost of Rs 2,000 on Feroz, asking him to deposit the amount within four days. Salvi is likely to make the prosecution’s submission on the quantum of sentence to the six convicts tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, Salvi cross-examined Feroz. To a question by the prosecutor, Feroz said that a criminal case is pending against him in which his father is a co-accused.
Yesterday Feroz had broken down in the court, urging the judge to spare him the gallows and award him life term instead.
The special court for Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) cases on Friday convicted six persons including Mustafa Dossa and Abu Salem in the case, 24 years after serial blasts killed 257 people in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital.
In the first phase of the trial which concluded in 2007, the court had convicted 100 accused. The trial of Salem, Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Feroz Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Qayyum had been separated because they were arrested later. Qayyum was acquitted by the court for the lack of evidence.