Apex court criticises Pak role in blasts

Judgment day: Victims get justice after twenty-year-long wait
Last Updated 21 March 2013, 21:00 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on Pakistan’s “green channel” as well as the training given to some of the accused for carrying out the serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, relying upon the evidence including confessions of some of the convicts, noted that a large number of accused and absconders received training in bomb-making by using RDX and other explosives, handling of sophisticated automatic weapons like AK-56 rifles and hand grenades, in Pakistan.

“The training received in Pakistan materialised in the unfortunate serial blasts in Bombay, India, on 12th March 1993. A responsible state owes an obligation not only to another state but also to the international community as a whole. We sincerely hope that every state will strive towards the same,” the bench said.

“The accused arrived in Pakistan for training and they were received by ISI operatives who took them out of the airport without observing any immigration formalities. Meaning thereby, they had a green channel entry and exit in Pakistan. Another confession reveals that they received training from ISI officials on some occasions. These events unveil the tolerance and encouragement shown by Pakistan towards terrorism,” the bench added.

In its verdicts dealing with the appeals in the case, the court said, the arrangement for training of the accused was made by Dawood Ibrahim, Anees Ibrahim, Mohd. Dossa, and Salim Bismillah Khan

“Some of the passports seized during investigation carry two arrival stamps of Dubai but the details of their journey during the intervening period are not reflected in the passports. Pakistan took precautions not to bring its involvement on record,” the bench pointed out.

Chronology of a disaster

*Mar 12, 1993: A series of 13 explosions rock Mumbai resulting in 257 fatalities and injuries to 713 others.
*Apr 19: Actor Sanjay Dutt arrested.
* Nov 4: Over 10,000 page-long primary charge sheet filed against 189 accused, including Dutt.
* Nov 19: Case handed over to CBI.
*Apr 1, 1994: TADA court shifted from city’s sessions and civil court to a separate building inside the premises of the Arthur Road Central Jail.
* Apr 10, 1995: 26 accused discharged by the TADA court. Charges framed against the remaining accused.
Supreme Court discharges two more accused — travel agent Abu Asim Azmi (now Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament) and Amjed Meher Baux.
*Apr 19: Trial commences.
*Apr-June: Charges framed against the accused.   
*June 30: Two accused, Mohammed Jameel and Usman Jhankanan, turn approvers in the case.
*Oct 14: Dutt granted bail by the SC.
*Mar 23, 1996: Judge J N Patel transfered and elevated as a high court judge.
* Mar 29: P D Kode designated as a special TADA judge for the case.
*Oct 2000: Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends.
*Mar 9-July 18, 2001: Accused record their statements.
*Oct 18: Prosecution completes arguments.
* Aug 22, 2002: Defence closes arguments.
* Feb 20, 2003: Dawood gang member Ejaz Pathan produced in court.
*Mar 20, 2003: Mustafa Dossa's remand proceedings and trial separated.
*Sept 2003: Trial ends. Court reserves Judgment.
* June 13, 2006: Gangster Abu Salem's trial separated.
*Sept 12: Court starts delivering the judgment, pronounces four members of the Memon family guilty, acquits 3. 12 convicts awarded death penalty while 20 were given life sentence.
* Nov 1, 2011: SC begins hearing on appeals filed by the 100 convicts as well as the state.
* Aug 29, 2012: SC reserves its order on the appeals.
* Mar 21, 2013: SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld.

B-town support

Heart Broken. Just heard that Sanjay Dutt has to go to jail for five years. I expected mercy! Alas, it did not happen.
Mahesh Bhatt

I am truly shattered to hear of Sanju’s sentence... the nicest guy I have known just doesn’t deserve this. My heart goes out to him.
Karan Johar

The real planners of the 1993 blasts are sitting safely in Pakistan. Till they are brought to book, justice will not be served. The 1993 blast case should not be made about Sanjay Dutt.
Kunal Kohli

I am shocked to hear the verdict on Mr Dutt. My heart goes out to the Dutt family. We all love you Mr Dutt.
Celina Jaitly

I stand with Sanjay Dutt, always will. He’s my brother. He made mistakes, but he’s served more than his time, in terms of mental stress. I am not contesting or denying the law, but it breaks my heart that he has to face this.
Vishal Dadlani

There are bad guys, there are nice guys. Sanjay Dutt most definitely is the latter. By far he’s the kindest and nicest guy I know. I’m really sad.
Ashish Chowdhry

(Published 21 March 2013, 10:01 IST)

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