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Second phase of verdict begins on Dec 11

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Dec 4 (UNI) With the first phase of verdict in the 1993 serial bomb blasts, which rocked the country's financial and entertainment capital over 13 years ago, over today, the second phase of hearing arguments for and against the quantum of sentence to 100 of 123 accused convicted by the TADA court will begin on December 11.

The first phase of convictions or acquittals (23) lasted 84 days after Judge Pramod Kode started pronouncing order on September 12.

The trial of 123 accused lasted over 8 years from 1995 to 2003.

First investigated by the Mumbai police, the case was later handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

CBI's prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam today said the court will start hearing arguments of the defence and prosecution from December 11 to decide the quantum of sentence.

The third and last phase of verdict would be the annoucement of punishment to the guilty.

''By the year-end, the full judgement would be out,'' Mr Nikam hoped.

He indicated that the prosecution would seek capital punishment in some cases.

The maximum sentence under section 3(2) of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities ( Prevention ) Act, in which 12 accused have been convicted, is death penalty. The minimum is 5-year jail.

As many as 48 accused have been convicted on the charge of terror conspiracy under section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. The minimum and maximum sentence for it is 5 years and life imprisionment.

Magnum Video owner Samir Hingora and two women, Raheen Memon, wife of Suleman Memon, and Zabiusa Kazi, have been found guilty under 120-B of the IPC.

Six Customs officials, including former Additional Customs Collector ( Imports) Som Nath Thapa , were found guilty under the Customs Act besides provisions of TADA, IPC, Arms Act and Explosives Act.

The star accused, Sanjay Dutt, cleared under TADA was, however, found guilty under the Arms Act and faces a minimum of 5-year and a maximum of 10-year in jail. Seven co-accused with him were also convicted under the Arms Act, but 9th member of the ring, Ajay Marwaha, was acquitted.


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