New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court will Thursday pronounce its verdict on the 124 cross appeals by those convicted by a special court for the 1993 Bombay serial bomb blasts, including film star Sanjay Dutt, as well as by the Maharashtra government challenging some acquittals and seeking enhanced sentences for other guilty.
A bench of Justice P.Sathasivam and Justice B.S.Chauhan had heard the spate of cross petition by the convicts and the state of Maharashtra over ten months. The hearing that commenced Nov 1, 2011, concluded Aug 29, 2012.
The judgment is divided into six parts. Justice Sathasivam will pronounce judgment on appeal against death sentences and life imprisonments in parts 1 and 2 respectively.
He will also pronounce judgment under part 6 dealing with cases of conviction under the Arms Act/Explosive Substances Act. This part will deal with the appeal of Sanjay Dutt challenging his conviction under the Arms Act and sentence of six-year imprisonment.
Justice Chauhan will pronounce verdicts on the appeals covering varying terms of imprisonment in part 3, judgments dealing with appeals by accused challenging their conviction in part 4, and finally verdicts dealing with the appeals filed by the Maharashtra government against the acquittal of accused in part 5.
The court dealing with the then Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act had convicted and sentenced 12 accused to death, 20 to life imprisonment, and 46 others, including Sanjay Dutt, were given varying terms of imprisonments.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had faced flak for not challenging the TADA court verdict acquitting Sanjay Dutt of charges under the TADA but convicting him under the Arms Act and sentencing him to six years imprisonment. However, in the course of the hearing of his appeal, the CBI had opposed the actor’s plea challenging his conviction and sentencing.
A series of 13 car bomb blasts had ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993, resulting in the death of 257 people and injuries to 713. The locations that were targeted included fisherman’s colony in Mahim Causeway, Zaveri Bazaar, Plaza Cinema, Century Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Sahar Airport, Air India building, Hotel Juhu Centaur, the Bombay Stock Exchange Building and the Passport Office.
The TADA court trial court of Justice P.D. Kode had commenced the trial Nov 4, 1993, and pronounced its 4,230-page verdict on July 31, 2007.