The Special TADA court, which was supposed to start hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment for the six accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts trial, adjourned without commencing the hearings.
While the special public prosecutor, Deepak Salvi of the CBI, put forth his demand for 'extreme punishment' for all the six found guilty by the court, the court was adjourned on Monday for these reasons -
Defence lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan moved an application to examine three witnesses on the basis of mitigating circumstances. This application was made on behalf of Firoz Khan, who has been held guilty of helping land the arms for the blasts, and this application was accepted by the court.
The lawyer for Mustafa Dossa, who has been held guilty of conspiracy, has pleaded that since he is out of town, he should be allowed to present his arguments after 25 June. The defence lawyer also made an application and sought two weeks' time to prepare the arguments on the quantum of sentence for the accused. The court however said that the case was a highly important one and this much time could not be granted. The defence lawyers have also sought a copy of the detailed judgement - this plea will be decided tomorrow.
The TADA court had, on 16 June, passed a judgement, holding six of the seven guilty of conspiracy, murder and other provisions under the TADA Act. Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Tahir Merchant, Firoz Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, and Karimullah Shaikh have been convicted, while Qayyum Shaikh, the only one acquitted, was allowed out of jail on Saturday. A series of 12 blasts had rocked Mumbai on 12 March 1993, on the back of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, changing the political climate of the city forever.