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16 yrs on,life convict steps out of jail

He was 17 when the police arrested him for his involvement in the 1993 serial bomb blasts. After he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007...

He was 17 when the police arrested him for his involvement in the 1993 serial bomb blasts. After he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007,the Bombay High Court has now allowed TADA convict Moin Qureshi to step out of prison for the first time in his 16 years behind the bars.

The police arrested Qureshi,a Bandra resident,on April 20,1993,for lobbying hand grenades and firing at the Mahim fishermen colony. A ninth-standard dropout,Qureshi is the youngest in his family of four siblings. He was allegedly indoctrinated by the prime accused,Tiger Memon,in the case after the 1992-’93 riots and he was sent to Pakistan for training in arms and ammunition.

While handing down the conviction,the special TADA court had observed,”Qureshi is being given the benefit of his age and sentenced the lesser punishment or else his case is also fit for the maximum punishment.”

Qureshi had made a plea before the jail authorities for a 14-day furlough,which was rejected. Later,he moved the High Court,challenging the rejection on grounds that his release from prison could foment trouble in Mumbai.

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However,his counsel Anil Piratwad argued that since there is no case pending against Qureshi and him being served a long sentence,he is liable for such liberty.

The court held that “If at all the legislature desired that the prisoners in serious matters like Bombay Bomb Blasts Case should not be entitled to liberty of enjoying parole or furlough,the legislature could have amended Rule 4 of the Prisons [Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules,1959.”

The court further observed that the prisoner shall be completing 16 years of actual imprisonment. “We believe,by now,his case must have been referred to the State for being considered under Sec 432[1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for premature release,” it said.

First published on: 11-04-2009 at 02:35:04 am
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