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'93 blasts: TADA court seeks prosecution's views on probation
June 14, 2007 17:18 IST
The special court hearing the 1993 serial blasts case on Thursday sought the prosecution's views on how it should deal with applications by convicts, including Sanjay Dutt [Images], seeking leniency under the Probation of Offenders Act.
Judge Pramod Kode did not reveal whether he had made up his mind on whether the benefit should be extended to any of the convicts who have filed applications under the law, including actor Sanjay Dutt.
Kode asked Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam whether the court should first pronounce the sentence and then release the applicants on bonds of good conduct or whether it should release the applicants right away.
This is a significant development as the court has sentenced 76 of the 100 convicts, but is yet to decide the fate of Sanjay Dutt, Yusuf Nullwalla, Kersi Adjania and Rusi Mulla, who have made applications for leniency under the Probation of Offenders Act.
Nikam told the court that according to law, an applicant is to be released on a bond of good conduct "in lieu of the sentence" -- that is without pronouncing the sentence.
Nikam also said the prosecution was opposed to applications under POA.
Kode then told Nikam to submit the Supreme Court's rulings in this regard.
In another development, Nikam objected to a TV channel airing an interview with Dutt. Without naming Dutt, he said the person interviewed had made comments on Kode's impartiality and this might send out wrong signals.
The judge said interviews with convicts were not "desirable", but they would not have any effect on him.
In an interview with NDTV aired on Wednesday, Dutt had said that Kode had been "impartial towards me."