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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 18, 2007
93 Mumbai blast: Five get three year jail terms
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93 Mumbai blast: Five get three year jail terms

A special TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention Act) Court today sentenced five people to three years imprisonment in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blast case.

Mumbai, May 18 : A special TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention Act) Court today sentenced five people to three years imprisonment in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blast case.

Delivering the verdict, Judge Pramod Kode also fined them Rs 25,000 each after they were found guilty under the Customs Act. The Customs Act bars the application of the Probation of Offenders Act (POA).

The five sent to jail were Yeshwant Bhoinkar, Abbas Dawood Shaikhdare, Shajehan Ibrahim Shaikhdhare, Rashid Alware and Sharif Khan Adhikari.

While Shaikhdhare and Bhoinkar were convicted for providing trawlers for bringing in RDX and weapons at Shekhadi, Alware and Adhikari were convicted for participation in the landing of the consignment.

The court began pronouncing the quantum of sentence on the 100 convicts in the case today. It has already formally acquitted 23 accused in the blast case, which killed 257 people and left over 700 people injured.

According to sources, actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted for possessing illegal weapons, will not appear before the court as he is unwell.

The court is likely to take up his probation plea today. He had filed an application under the Probation of Offenders Act (POA), 1958.

The court on Wednesday had ordered for probation officers reports, with respect to petitions filed by Dutt and 96 other accused in the case. Sanjay Dutt and the other 96 had filed pleas seeking relief under Section 4 of Probation of Offenders Act.

Along with Dutt, three of his associates, who were convicted under the Arms Act for helping him destroy evidence, Yusuf Nulwalla, Rusi Mulla and Kersi Adajania, had also filed pleas for probation which will also come up in the court today.

According to the Act, a person convicted of any offence other than the one punishable with death or life imprisonment, can be released on probation instead of serving the sentence in prison.

The prosecution, through Ujjwal Nikam, had argued that Dutt could not be granted leniency for being a "youthful" offender, when the crime was committed. He said the POA was meant for young and immature offenders.

Nikam had said that Dutt, who was 34 years old in 1993, when he accepted an AK-56 rifle and a Chinese 9mm pistol from Samir Hingora, was "mature and adult". He contended that Dutt could then distinguish between a hunting rifle and an AK-56, "a weapon of mass destruction".

Dutt's lawyers had urged that he be set free for his good behaviour during the bail, citing a 1958 law, which allows certain convicts to be given probation.

Dutt, 48, has been consistently granted bail and has also been cleared of conspiracy charges against him.

Dutt has been out on bail since 1995 after spending over a year in prison during initial investigations into the blasts.

The prime accused in the case, Tiger Memon and his family are still absconding, and are reportedly living in Pakistan.

ANI

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