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March 28, 2000
JJ hospital killer Subhash Thakur sentenced to death
Judge P K Chawre of the designated TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act] court in Bombay today sentenced gangster Subhash Singh Thakur to death in the JJ Hospital shootout case.
The judge had yesterday found Thakur, his associate Shyam Kishore Garikapatti, and former Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Council chairman Jayant Suryarao guilty in the sensational case that shocked Bombay eight years ago.
The trio, members of Dawood Ibrahim's gang, were arrested for killing Shailesh Haldankar of the rival Arun Gawli gang and two policemen and injuring five others in the shootout in the premises of Bombay's Sir Jamshetjee Jeejeebhoy Hospital on September 12, 1992.
Six others indicted in the case were granted the benefit of doubt by Judge Chawre and acquitted. They are Anil Amarnath Sharma, Prasad Khade, Ahmed Mohammed Mansoori, Jaiprakashsingh Shivcharansingh alias Bachhisingh, Zahoor Ismail Faki and Mehboobi Aziz Khan, the sole woman accused.
Thakur, who is believed to have broken away from Ibrahim and formed his own gang, was charged under sections 3(2) (committing a terrorist act), 3(3) (aiding and abetting a terrorist act) and 5 (possessing weapons in a notified area) of the TADA, sections 302 (murder) and 307 (causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code, and section 27 of the Arms Act.
For the offences under sections 3(2) of the TADA, section 302 of the IPC and section 27 of the Arms Act, he was sentenced to death by hanging. For the offences under section 3(3) of the TADA and section 307 of the IPC, he was sentenced to imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs 500 or a month's additional inprisonment. All the sentences are to run concurrently. The death sentence will be carried out once the Supreme Court confirms it.
Garikapatti and Suryarao were convicted under sections 3(4) of TADA and 212 of the IPC (harbouring an accused). Garikapatti was sentenced to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500 while Suryarao was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500. But the period spent by the convicts in jail during trial will be set off against the sentences awarded.
In a statement to the police, Garikapatti had confessed to being a professional criminal and his involvement in the JJ case.
Judge Chawre also took a serious view of Sub-Inspector Krishnavtar Thakur, a key witness and original complainant, turning hostile during Subhash Thakur's identification parade in the courtroom and ordered a departmental inquiry into the matter.
Advocate Rohini Salian handled the case on behalf of the State of Maharashtra. She stated that the gangsters barged into the general ward of the hospital and gunned down Haldankar to avenge the murder of Dawood's brother-in-law, Ibrahim Ismail Parkar. In the firing, two policemen, P G Javsen and K B Bhanavat, were also killed. Five others, including a nurse and a patient, were injured.
A total of 41 accused were roped in by the prosecution, of whom only nine were brought to trial. The others were either discharged, absconding, or killed by rivals. The prosecution examined 75 witnesses of whom 21, including Sub-Inspector Thakur, turned hostile.
Suryarao, released on bail earlier, was taken into custody soon after the conviction order was delivered yesterday.
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