1993 Mumbai Blasts: Five-Year Jail Term for Sanjay Dutt

Posted: March 21, 2013 by Shishir Gupta in Corruption, India, Television Personalities, Terrorism
Tags: , , , , , ,

dutt_1363847508Sanjay Dutt has been sentenced to a 5-year jail term under the case of illegal possession of arms in the 193 Mumbai blasts case. A little over 5 years back in 2007, Sanjay Dutt was cleared of the conspiracy charges in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, but was found guilty of illegal possession of an automatic rifle and a pistol. Since this case was still under the Supreme Court Dutt was granted bail, and has been out since then. Now he needs to surrender within a month and complete the sentence term (he has already served 18 months in jail earlier). Though this a sad news for all his fans, but as an Indian I am proud that the supreme court is playing its role well and even prosecuting high profile people. Though the time frame can be a topic for debate as it has been nearly 20 years since those blasts took place, but as we say better late than never, it is good that criminals like Yakub Menon have been given death sentence. This does raise a little hope in the judicial system of India.

The complete news articles are as follows:

1993 Mumbai blasts: Five-year jail term for Sanjay Dutt

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s conviction in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. Dutt, who has already served 18 months of his term in prison, has four weeks to surrender.

The Supreme Court today also dismissed 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Yakub Memon’s appeal against his death sentence even as it reduced the punishment of 10 other accused to life imprisonment from death sentence considering the fact that they have spent 20 years in jail. It also upheld life sentences awarded to 17 others.

The apex court said there is no case for probation to Dutt because of the gravity of the crime. Dutt can file a review petition.

Dutt, who was convicted under the Arms Act for illegally possessing weapons, had been awarded six years imprisonment by the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) court.

However, the apex court reduced the sentence from six years to five years. This effectively means that Dutt will be in jail for three years and six months as he has already undergone 18 months imprisonment.

“He will have to serve another three-and-a-half year sentence. We had prepared him for the same,” Dutt’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde told reporters.

“We will wait for a copy of the Supreme Court judgement and then decide the further course of action,” he said. “He is a strong man and will fight back.”

In 2007, Dutt was cleared of conspiracy charges in the Mumbai serial blasts but was found guilty of illegal possession of an automatic rifle and a pistol.

The actor was the most high-profile among 100 people found guilty in the bombings trial. The 1993 Mumbai attacks were ordered by India’s most wanted man, Dawood Ibrahim, police say.

The court also came down heavily on Mumbai police and customs officers at all levels. But for their wrong actions the 1993 bombings could have been avoided.

A TADA court had in 1993 awarded death sentence to 12 people, including Memon. One of them has passed away. The court had also sentenced 20 to life imprisonment and 46 others, including Dutt, were given varying terms of imprisonment.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had faced flak for not challenging the TADA court verdict acquitting Sanjay Dutt of charges under the TADA but convicting him under the Arms Act and sentencing him to six years imprisonment.

However, in the course of the hearing of his appeal, the CBI had opposed the actor’s plea challenging his conviction and sentencing.

For a man who reportedly took to drugs in high school, hobnobbed with India’s most-wanted criminals and whose private life constantly made headlines, Dutt retains the sympathy of the industry and millions of fans who see him as a victim of his star lineage and own fame.

Dutt is the son of actor and former Congress minister late Sunil Dutt. His sister Priya is a Congress MP in the Lok Sabha. Their mother, late Nargis, had also been a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.

Dutt married longtime girlfriend Manyata in February 2008 and became a father to twins two years later. He has a daughter Trishala from his first marriage.

Through all his troubled years, Dutt managed to stay relevant in Bollywood, with his biggest hits being the two-series Munnabhai films in which he played a funny, do-gooder gangster.

Dutt wasn’t present in the court and was represented by his sister Priya.

A series of 13 car bomb blasts had ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993, resulting in the death of 257 people and injuries to 713. The locations that were targeted included fisherman’s colony in Mahim Causeway, Zaveri Bazaar, Plaza Cinema, Century Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Sahar Airport, Air India building, Hotel Juhu Centaur, the Bombay Stock Exchange Building and the Passport Office.

Not linked to 1993 blasts: Dutt

In August 2012, Dutt told the Supreme Court that his offence of possessing a rifle and ammunition was not linked to the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

Appearing for the actor, senior counsel Harish Salve told the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan that he came to possess the weapon in September 1992 when his father Sunil Dutt and sisters were facing threats as the senior Dutt’s help to Muslim victims annoyed some.

Salve said that the only caveat in putting Sanjay Dutt to trial under an anti-terror law was if there was any “inextricable linkage” between his possessing arms with the serial bomb blasts.

He said that this was the least common denominator that could be used for seeing any such linkage. He said that there was no linkage between Dutt possessing a rifle and the 1993 bomb blasts.

The court was told that Dutt had never met blasts accused Tiger Memon and all that he knew about him was hearsay from Samir Hingora in whose under-production film “Sanam” he was playing a role.

The senior counsel told this to the apex court hearing Dutt’s appeal challenging his conviction under the Arms act and sentence of six years awarded to him. The actor’s appeal challenging his conviction was being heard by the apex court.

As Salve commenced the arguments, the court pointed out that there were objections that the “CBI filed appeal against all making an exception for Sanjay Dutt”.

The court was apparently referring to senior counsel Jaspal Singh casting shadows on the impartiality of the CBI by not appealing against the TADA court verdict in Dutt’s case.

Jaspal Singh, who appeared for accused Yakub Memon, said that the CBI did not oppose the bail of Dutt who had confessed his guilt and weapons were recovered from him. (With agency inputs) ..”

1993 Mumbai blasts: SC upholds Yakub Memon’s death sentence

“The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case and commuted the death sentence of 10 others. The apex court also upheld the conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act in the terror attack and sent him to five years in prison.

However, the apex court reduced the sentence from six years to five years. This effectively means that Dutt will be in jail for three years and six months as he has already undergone 18 months imprisonment.

While confirming the death sentence of Yakub Memon, the bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan said he and other members of the Memon family had played a predominant role in the execution of the conspiracy that led to 13 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, claiming 257 lives and leaving 713 injured.

While commuting the death sentence of the 10 other convicts to life imprisonment, the court said that they were mere subservients in the execution of the conspiracy.

The humble and underprivileged background of these 10 accused, who were mere instruments in the hands of “principal perpetrators”, were counted as mitigating circumstances by the court.

The court said that if Memons were the archers of the conspiracy these 10 were just arrows. The judges also slammed Pakistan for aiding and abetting the acts of terrorism in infringement of international obligation as a member of United Nations.

The court also came down heavily on Mumbai police and customs officers at all levels. But for their wrong actions the 1993 bombings could have been avoided.

A TADA court had in 1993 awarded death sentence to 12 people, including Memon. One of them has passed away. The court had also sentenced 20 to life imprisonment and 46 others, including Sanjay Dutt, were given varying terms of imprisonment.

An anti-terror TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) court had in 1993 awarded death sentence to 12 people, including Memon. One of them has passed away.

A series of 13 car bomb blasts had ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993, resulting in the death of 257 people and injuries to 713. The locations that were targeted included fisherman’s colony in Mahim Causeway, Zaveri Bazaar, Plaza Cinema, Century Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Sahar Airport, Air India building, Hotel Juhu Centaur, the Bombay Stock Exchange Building and the Passport Office.

The TADA court trial court of Justice P.D. Kode had commenced the trial on November 4, 1993, and pronounced its 4,230-page verdict on July 31, 2007.

The bombings, police say, were carried out at the behest of gangster Dawood Ibrahim to avenge the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and subsequent riots in which many Muslims were killed. A special anti-terrorism court had convicted 100 people in the attacks. (With agency inputs) ..”

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