A day after actor Sanjay Dutt was granted four weeks time to surrender, seven other convicts including 70-year-old Zaibunnisa Anwar Kazi, were also given the same amount of time by the Supreme Court to turn themselves in to serve their remaining sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Granting relief to Abdul Razak Memon, Altaf Ali Sayed, Yusuf Mohsin Nulwalla, Zaibunnisa, Issaq Mohd Hajwane, Shariff Abdul Gafoor Parker alias Dadabhai and Kesri Adajania, a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said no further time will be given to anyone to surrender on any ground.
The court granted the relief today, the day the deadline fixed by it for them to surrender was set to expire.
The bench, however, refused to grant relief to another convict Yusuf Khan, who had sought extension of time to surrender till his review petition is decided by the Supreme Court, saying that relief cannot be granted on this ground.
The apex court had on March 21 upheld the sentence of five years imprisonment of Yusuf Khan. The court had also upheld the jail term of life imprisonment, 10 years and five years respectively of Memon, Sayed and Nulwalla.
Apart from them, the court had also upheld the TADA court’s verdict awarding five-years and life term to Zaibunnisa (70), who is suffering from cancer, and Parker (86), respectively.
The apex court had enhanced the five-year jail term of Hajwane (76) to life imprisonment and had awarded one-year jail term to Adajania (84).
The apex court had on April 16 refused to grant extension of the deadline to surrender to Zaibunnisa, Hajwane and Parker, who had pleaded they be allowed to remain out of jail till their clemency pleas were decided by the President.
A day thereafter, Dutt, 53, was granted four weeks to surrender after he urged the court to extend the deadline on humanitarian grounds.
Other convicts, including Zaibunnisa then filed a petition seeking relief on health and humanitarian grounds which was accepted by the apex court and they were also granted four weeks to surrender.
After today’s order, all eight convicts, including Dutt will have to surrender before the trial court in Mumbai by May 16.
The Mumbai serial blasts on March 12, 1993 had claimed 257 lives and injured over 700.
25 more convicts in 1993 bomb blasts case surrender
Twenty five convicts in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case surrendered today before a designated TADA court in keeping with the Supreme Court order upholding their conviction and dismissing their appeals.
Eleven others had surrendered before the same Court yesterday. Eight more convicts, including actor Sanjay Dutt, have been given time by the Supreme Court to return to jail to serve the remaining period of sentence.
The 25 convicts who surrendered today were those who were found guilty of possessing arms, attending conspiracy meetings and facilitating landing of arms, ammunitions and RDX at Shekhadi coast in Raigad district which was allegedly sent from Pakistan by absconding accused Tiger Memon.
All the convicts face an imprisonment ranging from 5 years to 10 years with several of them having undergone over four years in jail during the trial period.
The convicts surrendered before special TADA Judge G A Sanap who directed police to take them to Central prison at Arthur Road in Central Mumbai. The convicts would later be transferred to various central prisons across the state.
The judge said the court would wait till Saturday to see if any more convicts will surrender. “If not, we will issue arrest warrant,” the court said.
Two convicts, Mohammad Kasam Lajpuria alias Mechanic Chacha, who was wheel chair bound, and Tulsiram Surve, who has suffered a paralytic attack, were allowed to take their medicines inside jail. Family members of many convicts had accompanied them to the court today.
Asked why they did not approach the Supreme Court like some of their co-accused to seek time to surrender, convicts Noor Mohammad Haji Mohammad Khan and Ibrahim Baba Moosa Chauhan said “we are not celebrities.. Today or after a month, we have to surrender one day. It is better to surrender today and spend that one month in jail praying to Allah.”
Khan, whose son is a solicitor in a law firm, added grave injustice had been done to some of his co-accused.
“There are some accused who have been sentenced to ten years jail for possessing a pistol in a notified area. But another accused who possessed AK 56 rifle and hand grenades was given just five years. Why this difference?” the convict said hinting at actor Sanjay Dutt.
The convicts who surrendered today included Salim Durani, a member of the family of Nawab of Tonk in Rajasthan, Uttam Potdar, Tulsiram Surve, Ghulam Hafiz Shaikh, Farooq Motorwala, Yusuf Khan, Sulieman Kasam, Shanawaz Khan, Mujib Sharif Parkar, Asif Yusuf Shaikh, Shaikh Aziz Ahmed, Mohammad Dawood Yusuf Khan, Mohammad Sayed Ishaq, Sayed Abdul Rehman Shaikh, Shahjahan Hajwane, Sikandar Hajwane, Ayub Qureshi, Ehsan Tuffel Qureshi, Mohammad Usman Shiakh, Liyakat Khan and Suleman Ghavate.