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ON WEDNESDAY afternoon, as Mustafa Dossa’s five co-convicts waited for their court hearing to begin post-lunch, news of his death began trickling in. Special CBI counsel Deepak Salvi arrived by 3.30 pm and informed the court that Dossa had passed away. “An unfortunate incident has occurred. Mustafa Dossa is no more. I will not be able to argue today, so I seek an adjournment,” Salvi said.
Special Judge GA Sanap asked when was Dossa admitted to JJ Hospital and when had he passed away. Salvi said the death occurred at 2.35 pm. “Why did you not tell me yesterday (that he was unwell)? I would have sent him to hospital,” Judge Sanap said.
When Advocate Wahab Khan told the court that they were all in shock and needed time till next week, the judge said, “I have taken more care of him than you people. There is a difference between a criminal and a human being. The court convicts criminals and not human beings.”
Adjourning the case, the judge said, “The death of Mustafa Dossa is an unfortunate event. I am shocked. In view of it, the trial is adjourned till Friday.”
On Wednesday, the court was slated to hear arguments by the CBI on the quantum of punishment. After the CBI sought death for Dossa and Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan Tuesday, Salvi was to begin arguments on the aggravating circumstances against Taher Merchant and Karimulla Khan.
The special TADA court had convicted six men for the Mumbai 1993 serial blasts on June 16. It had said it would seek maximum punishment for all the accused. The case against Dossa, who was called one of the main conspirators, will be abated formally once the death certificate is submitted in court.
A source close to him said that Dossa had begun preparing to file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the order.