Mumbai: After a trial that lasted over five years, the special TADA court in Mumbai will pronounce its verdict against accused Abu Salem and seven others in the 1993 blast case on Friday.
This, incidentally, comprises the second part of the judgement in this case as the first verdict was delivered in 2006 by special judge Justice Pramod Kode. A total of 123 accused were convicted then, including Yakub Memon, brother of prime accused Tiger Memon, who is still at large. Actor Sanjay Dutt was also among the accused, charged with possessing illegal weapons.
On Friday, all eyes would be on special judge Justice GA Sanap, who is likely to pronounce the judgement pertaining to the conviction or acquittal of all the accused. The quantum of punishment would, however, be decided later.
In the five years of trial, Justice Sanap has examined a total of 750 prosecution witnesses presented by the CBI that has probed the case. Also, 45 defence witnesses have been examined in the course of the trial.
All the seven accused have been charged with waging war against the state, murder, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, the Explosives Act and the stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
Interestingly, the CBI, represented by special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi, has relied on the case of Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist who was hanged for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. “We have relied on Kasab’s case as the Supreme Court has set a precedent by confirming his capital punishment. In the present case, we have sought application of the stringent section pertaining to waging war against the country. Till now, only Kasab has been hanged under this section of the Indian Penal Code,” Salvi said.
Among the accused whose fate will be decided include Abu Salem, charged with tran-sporting arms from Bharuch to Mumbai and supplying them to the perpetrators.
33 accused, including Dawood Ibrahim, Anees Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa, are still wanted in connection with the case.
There are now seven accused who played important roles in the conspiracy and planning of the serial blasts to its execution.
KEY ACCUSED & THEIR ROLE
- Abu Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in 2005, had transported arms and ammunition from Bharuch to Mumbai
- Mustafa Dossa, is accused of holding the meetings before the blast at his residence in Dubai and then supplying all the arms and ammunition to the perpetrators in Mumbai
- Karimullah Khan had sent a friend to learn arms training in Pakistan and had even helped in the landing of arms and ammunition
- Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan also helped in the landing of arms and ammunition.
- Riyaz Siddiqui handed over the Maruti van full of money to Abu Salem at Bharuch
- Tahir Merchant collected money for conspiracy at Dubai and took care of entertainment of the youths who were coming from India for training in Pakistan
- Abdul Qayyum was the manager of Dawood Ibrahim’s office in Dubai.
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