Surrender rush on Thursday deadline likely

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 17 April 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Forty-five people convicted for the 1993 Mumbai blasts are likely to surrender before the TADA court in Mumbai on Thursday, the day the deadline set for them ends, sparking concerns among lawyers over possible scenes of commotion outside the court, especially if actor Sanjay Dutt too surrenders on the same day.

Some convicts may arrive at the court on Wednesday, said advocate Farhana Shah who is representing the majority of the 46 still out on bail, though "most have decided to turn in on the last day of the time given to them" . Upon surrender in court, each convict will have to submit a separate surrender application. Once this procedure is over, the convicts will be taken into custody by the court and then escorted to jail by the police. "The whole procedure should not take much time since it is a formality," said senior counsel Shirish Gupte.

Several of the convicts have already readied pleas seeking permission to carry prescribed medication since they are "suffering from ailments" .

A few convicts from Raigad district arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday in preparation for surrender , while some convicts from Mumbai spent time with guests visiting them.

Ahmed Shah Khan, a member of the royal family of Tonk in Rajasthan, had close to a 100 relatives and friends visit him from Rajasthan. He was sentenced to five years in jail since a rifle was recovered from his factory in Andheri. He was convicted for the recovery of the weapon and two empty magazines , but acquitted of the main charge of conspiracy.

"It was a fabricated case against me. Though I have denied the allegations, I accept the SC ruling and will surrender in time. I want to put an end to this case," Khan said on Tuesday.

Of the nearly 50 convicts out on bail, six are those who had their short or completed sentences enhanced by the apex court to life imprisonment till death.

Sharif Parkar, an 80-yearold Raigad resident who was found guilty of aiding the landing of the arms cache before the 1993 bombings, had completed his 14-year sentence as awarded by the TADA court. He now has to return to jail, as does the 85-year-old Issaq Hajwane. A resident of Sandheri village in Raigad, Hajwane was found guilty of being involved in the arms training camp there before the blasts. The SC enhanced his seven-year jail term to life imprisonment until death. His son Sikandar Hajwane, who is aged around 60, too has to surrender and serve out his five year prison term.

Of the 100 people convicted by the TADA court, the 12 sentenced to death were never released on bail since the trial's inception. Nor were the 20 convicts given life term. Nineteen of the 100 finished their sentences ranging from five to 14 years. Those who received 10 years' imprisonment or less were granted bail by the SC in 2007 and 2008. They now have to return to jail.

If they fail to surrender by April 18, the TADA court will have to issue warrants and the police will have to arrest the convicts again.

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