|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
'93 blasts: Ex-cop gets life term, Rs 2 lakh fine
Binoy Valsan in Mumbai | May 22, 2007 12:59 IST
Last Updated: May 22, 2007 16:18 IST
The special TADA court trying the 1993 Mumbai serial blast case on Tuesday pronounced the sentences of the third batch of accused consisting of seven persons including a former police sub inspector.
For the first time in the history of Indian judiciary a policeman was awarded two concurrent life imprisonment sentences on two separate charges leveled against his name.
Vijay K Patil, former sub inspector with the Shrivardhan police station in Raigad was found guilty on charges of criminal conspiracy and TADA Section 3(3). He has also been fined Rs 2 lakh, which if not paid would extend his prison term by six years.
"It has been proved beyond doubt that VK Patil had accepted a bribe of Rs 7 lakh and ensured safe passage to two trucks laden with explosives on January 9. If he had done his duty then this whole blast incident could have been averted," Ujwal Nikam, the chief public prosecutor, said.
Patil escaped the death sentence as the prosecution could not prove beyond doubt that both the trucks were driven to Mumbai, as there have been allegations that one consignment was bound for Ahemdabad in Gujarat and hence could not have been used in the Mumbai blasts.
The defense had argued that VK Patil was young and inexperienced and requested the court to be lenient.
Nikam stated that even if the actual destination of the trucks is yet to be ascertained, it was crystal clear that VK Patil had misused his official position and aided terrorists.
"Once we get the judgment copy we will go in for an appeal in this regard," he added.
On the other hand, the court sentenced five others who were accused of undergoing weapon training in Pakistan to six years in prison and fined them Rs 15,000 each. One of them has been awarded seven year prison term as it was proved that he had attended a conspiracy meeting where the grim modus operandi and finer details of the blasts were being chalked out.
"The court has been lenient to these six accused as they did not indulge in any sort of terrorist activities in the country. But they did go to Pakistan and receive training in using sophisticated and banned weapons like rocket launchers and making explosives using RDX" said Nikam on his way out from the court at Arthur Jail Road in Mumbai.
Gul Mohammad Shaikh, Mohammad Hanif Shaikh, Mohammad Issaq, Shaikh Ibrahim
Hussain and Usman Man Khan were sentenced to six years while Mohammad Rafiq Shaikh was given seven years in jail.