Former director of Central Bureau of Investigation, who was associated with the investigations into the Mumbai bomb blasts case of 1993 and later the assassination of former chief minister of Punjab Beant Singh [Images], has hailed the decisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court in Mumbai and special CBI court, Chandigarh.
While the Mumbai court sentenced film actor Sanjay Dutt [Images] to six years of imprisonment for his role in the Mumbai blasts case and rejected the plea of the actor that he had reformed and should be released on parole as he has to look after his child, the judge in Chandigarh gave Jagtar Singh Hawara [Images] and Balwant Singh of Babbar Khalsa International the death sentence for hatching the conspiracy and using a human bomb Dilawar Singh to kill Beant Singh in 1995.
"This is a historic period for the CBI. One must compliment the dedication and discipline with which the officers and men of the force have worked on these two major cases. The 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case happened when Vijay Rama Rao was its director. Then I took over from him and the investigation was completed during my time. I was followed by R K Raghavan, P C Sharma, U S Misra and now it has culminated when Vijay Shankar it at the helm of affairs," Joginder Singh told rediff.com.
The case has many firsts. Never before in Indian history have as many as 12 persons been sentenced to death in a single case.
More than 20 have been given life imprisonment. There were 686 witnesses, the chargesheet ran into 14,000 pages and the number of accused persons was 124.
The case of Beant Singh also had many twists and turns. The CBI announced a prize of Rs 10 lakh leading to the arrest of the culprits.
While they were loged in Burail jail, the accused Jagtar Singh Hawara, Balwant Singh, Naseeb Singh and others made a sensational escape by digging a tunnel and disappearing into thin air before they were rearrested with the help of a woman known to Jagtar Singh Hawara.