New Delhi: In a major blow, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was sentenced to five years in jail by the Supreme Court for illegal arms possession during the 1993 serial Mumbai blasts. The court directed Dutt to surrender in one month.

‘Behind bars’ stories of B-Town actors

Sanjay Dutt has already served 18 months in jail in this case. Having already spent 18 months behind bars during the trial, Dutt (53) would have to undergo jail term for three-and-a-half years.

The Apex Court reduced jail term of Dutt, who was sentenced to six-year imprisonment by a TADA court, by one year and handed five-year jail term to him. 

READ MORE: Sanjay has accepted SC verdict, says his lawyer

The Apex Court pronounced its verdict on a bunch of appeals and cross-appeals filed by and against 100 people including Dutt who were convicted by the special TADA court in 2006 for the Mumbai blasts.

At least 257 people were killed in 13 blasts at several Mumbai landmarks, including the Bombay Stock Exchange, a popular cinema and two crowded markets.

SC said that evidence and materials perused by TADA court in arriving at the decision against Dutt were correct. The top court said that the circumstances and nature of offence were so serious that Dutt could not be released on probation.

SC upholds Yakub Memon's death sentence

Bringing to a closure the appeals by the convicts and the state in the case, a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan also upheld the death sentence of 1993 Mumbai blast mastermind Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, brother of one of the absconding main conspirators Tiger Memon and life sentences of 16 of the 18 convicts.

Supreme Court upheld life imprisonment of 10 convicts on the ground that they were behind bars for 20 years and their economic condition was weak.

The death sentence of 10 others was commuted to life sentence by the court which directed that they will remain in prison till death.

READ MORE: Timeline of 1993 Mumbai blasts

The Apex Court reduced the life sentence of one Ashrafur Rehman Azimulla to 10 years while that of Imtiyaz Yunusmiya Ghavte is set free by reducing the sentence to jail term already undergone.

Blasts accused trained in Pak

SC said that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI was also involved in the 1993 blasts. "The accused were trained in bomb making and to handle sophisticated weapons in Pakistan. Training of convicts in Pakistan materialised in 1993 blast," the court said.

The SC also said that management and conspiracy of 1993 blasts were done by Dawood Ibrahim and others in Pakistan. "Yakub Memon and all absconding accused (Dawood Ibrahim and others) were "archers" and rest of the accused were "arrows" in their hands," court said.

The court severely criticized Mumbai Police, customs and coastal guards for failing to check the transportation of RDX and other weapons into India.

Dutt convicted in Nov 2006
The actor was convicted in November 2006 for illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle but was acquitted of more serious charges of criminal conspiracy under the now defunct anti-terror TADA.

Dutt was convicted by the TADA court for illegal possession of a 9 mm Pistol and a AK-56 rifle which was part of the consignment of weapons and explosives brought to India for the coordinated serial blasts that killed 257 people and injured over 700.
After a marathon 10-month-long hearing beginning November 1, 2011, the Supreme Court had in August 2012 reserved its verdict on appeals and cross-appeals in the 1993 Mumbai serial terror bombing case in which 257 people were killed and 713 were injured.
During the hearing, the bench had for the first time used laptops in the court to peruse the voluminous documents and record of the case and the submissions of various counsel.
On March 12, 1993, Mumbai was rocked by a series of blasts, engineered by fundamentalist elements, which also damaged property worth over Rs 27 crore.


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