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Home > News > PTI

'93 blasts: one convicted, 5 acquitted

September 28, 2006 12:55 IST
Last Updated: September 28, 2006 16:08 IST

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A Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention Act) court on Thursday acquitted five accused in the 1993 bomb blast case who were charged with going to Dubai on way to Pakistan for arms training, saying the evidence against them was 'weak' and fell short of conviction.

However, the court convicted Sarfaraz Phanse, an aide of prime conspirator Tiger Memon, for aiding terrorist acts by facilitating the landing of arms and explosives at Shekhadi coast in Raigad district of Maharashtra, which were used in the 1993 blasts.

Phanse is son of Dawood Takla, who was convicted last week for attending conspiracy meeting called by prime conspirator Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai to plot the 1993 serial explosions.

However, Phanse, who faces maximum punishment of life imprisonment, was acquitted of the conspiracy charge.

Mansoor Qureshi, Shaikh Kasam Babulal, Sultan-e-Rome Ali Gul, Abdul Aziz Kader and Mohammed Iqbal Ibrahim were acquitted as the prosecution failed to prove that they had gone to Dubai for arms training. The Central Bureau of Investigation alleged that the five accused could not go to Pakistan from Dubai as conspirators did not make their travel arrangements.

They were also acquitted of charges of attending conspiracy meeting in Dubai.

The court observed that only one of them had given a confession, which had not been accepted as it was not properly recorded. The others had not given confessions. The judge P D Kode said although the accused had gone to Dubai in February 1993, there was no evidence to show that they had gone there to take part in the conspiracy.

On hearing the verdict, the five accused told the judge Shukhriya (thank you) and then shook hands with their lawyers -- Farhana Shah, Subhash Kanse and Abbas Kazmi. However, Phanse, who was convicted, put up a brave face and heard the verdict without expressing himself.

Asserting that the acquittal of five accused was not a setback to prosecution, CBI prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said generally in a case of such large magnitude the court might acquit some accused. However, he said, CBI would examine the reasons of acquittal and may challenge the verdict in Supreme Court after seeking a legal opinion, he said.

Earlier, Mushtaq Tarani, who was convicted on Wednesday for his complicity in Centaur hotel blast and planting an RDX-laden scooter at Shaikh Memon Street, told the court that he was not well and hence not fit to give a statement on the quantum of sentence. Tarani said he would give such a statement next week.

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