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The apex court while commuting death sentence of 10 other convicts to life imprisonment said all convicts including Sanjay Dutt would have to surrender within four weeks
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, while commuting death sentence of 10 other convicts to life imprisonment in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
The apex court also upheld conviction of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act in the blasts case. It, however, reduced Dutt’s jail term to five years from six years.
Since Dutt had already spent 18 months in jail, he would have to spend the remaining three years and six months behind bars.
The Supreme Court said Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, was also involved in the 1993 blasts. The management and conspiracy of 1993 blasts was done by Dawood Ibrahim and others in Pakistan and the accused were trained in bomb making and to handle sophisticated weapons in Pakistan, the apex court said.
It said, Yakub Memon and all absconding accused, including Dawood Ibrahim were ‘archers’ and rest of the accused were ‘arrows’ in their hands.
The SC commuted the death sentences on the ground that the convicts were behind bars for 20 years and their economic condition was weak. The court upheld the life sentence of 16 out of 18 convicts sentenced by the special court set up under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
The apex court said that life term convicts will remain in jail till their death. The life sentence of Ashrafur Rehman Azimulla was reduced to 10 years, while that of Imtiyaz Yunusmiya Ghavte to the jail term already undergone.
Taling about Dutt, the apex court said, the circumstances and nature of offence was so serious that he cannot be released on probation. “... (the) evidence and materials perused by the TADA court in arriving at the decision against Dutt was correct,” the court said.
The apex court dismissed all appeals of the convicts except that of Mubina alias Baya Moosa Bhiwandiwala and Mulchand Sampatraj Shah.