Prosecution to seek maximum sentence for 1993 Bombay serial blasts convicts

The court on Friday had convicted six persons including Mustafa Dossa, one of the masterminds of the conspiracy, and the extradited gangster Abu Salem, 24 years after the serial blasts killed 257 people in Mumbai, the country's financial capital.

By: PTI | Mumbai | Published: June 19, 2017 8:28 pm
1993 Mumbai bast, Abu salem, Mumbai blast verdict, 1993 Mumbai blast verdict, Mumbai blast verdict news, latest news, India news A scene after serial bomb blasts in Mumbai 1993. (UNI Photo)

The prosecution today told an anti-terror court here that it would seek the maximum punishment under the law for the six persons convicted last week in the 1993 serial blasts case. “We will seek maximum punishment under the law for each of the convicts,” special CBI counsel Deepak Salvi told Special Judge G A Sanap, heading the court set up under the erstwhile anti-terror law, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.

The statement came after the defence lawyer Sudeep Passbola said the prosecution should make arguments on the quantum of sentence first, as the defence needs to know the aggravating circumstances against the convicts which the prosecution may put forth. Salvi, however, said the prosecution will start arguments only after the accused put forth mitigating circumstances in their favour. He would ask for the maximum punishment, he added.

The court said it would decide later as to who should open the arguments. Meanwhile, Feroz Khan, one of the convicts, today filed four applications.

Among other things, advocate Wahab Khan, his lawyer, sought adjournment for two weeks to prepare arguments, but the judge rejected this demand. Advocate Khan also sought to call some witnesses to point out mitigating circumstances in Feroz’s favour. He wanted to call a couple of inmates of Taloja jail and also examine Feroz himself, he said.

The judge allowed the plea and asked advocate Khan to start examination of his witnesses tomorrow. Feroz also moved an application under the Probation of Offenders Act, under which a first-time convict can get the sentence suspended and undergo `probation.’

The judge called for a report from the probation officer to decide the plea. The court on Friday had convicted six persons including Mustafa Dossa, one of the masterminds of the conspiracy, and the extradited gangster Abu Salem, 24 years after the 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 Quayyum was separated because they were arrested later.

While Quayyum was acquitted for lack of evidence, Siddiqui was convicted only under TADA for helping Salem and others with transportation of arms. The other five were convicted for being party to the criminal conspiracy along with other offences under the IPC, TADA, Explosives Act, etc.

The court absolved all seven of the charge of `waging the war against the state.’

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