A special National Investigation Agency court in Jaipur on Wednesday sentenced Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta to life in jail in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case.
The magistrate also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Patel, 39, and Rs 5,000 on Gupta, 41, after they were held guilty under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The blast on October 11, 2007 in the dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at the time of Roza Iftaar, had left three pilgrims dead and 15 others injured.
On March 8, the court had convicted Patel, Gupta and Sunil Joshi in the case while acquitting a few including Swami Aseemanand. Joshi died soon after the blast.
Defence counsel J S Rana told reporters outside the court that the convicts would file an appeal against the judgment.
“The appeal will be filed in the high court,” Rana said.
Special public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma said that the court has also fixed March 28 as the date for announcing its decision on a closure report of the NIA.
“The NIA had filed a closure report in the court, saying it did not find any evidence against Indresh Kumar, Sadhvi Pragya, Jayanti Bhai, Prince, Ramesh Gohil and they were not involved in the case. During investigation, Ramesh Gohil had died and the NIA had filed report on this in the court.
“The court has now asked the NIA to file a formal report on the status of Ramesh Gohil and would also take a decision on the NIA closure report on March 28,” he said.
Sharma said that 26 witnesses had turned hostile in the case, including Agriculture Minister of Jharkhand Randhir Singh, and now it’s the jurisdiction of the NIA to take a decision whether the agency wants action against them or not.
The case was handed over to the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad and was later transferred to the NIA which re-registered the case at the NIA police station in New Delhi on 6 April, 2011.
There were as many as 149 witnesses in the case and 451 documents were examined and the NIA filed three supplementary chargesheet in the case.