New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Thursday pronounce its verdict in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 100 people were convicted out of which 12 were awarded death penalty and 20 were given life sentence by a TADA court. A bench of justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan will also decide the appeal of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt challenging his conviction and six years imprisonment awarded to him for being in illegal possession of arms under the Arms Act.
CBI had preferred not to challenge Dutt's acquittal under the stringent anti-terror law Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA). Though a string of high-profile attacks have since rattled the city, which has emerged as the favourite target of various terrorist organisations, the 1993 bombings were Mumbai's first experience with modern-day terrorism.
A total of 257 persons were killed and 713 others injured when a series 13 coordinated explosions shattered the metropolis on March 12, 1993. Property worth Rs 28 crore was destroyed in the explosions in which RDX was used for the first time in the country.
The blasts occurred at 12 places including Bombay Stock Exchange building, Air-India Building at Nariman Point, at Worli opposite Century Bazaar, Hotels Sea Rock and Juhu Centaur. Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and his brother Ayub Memon were alleged to be the main conspirators of the blasts and they were declared as proclaimed offenders.
Two convicts - Mohammed Iqbal, who got death sentence and SN Thapa, a former Customs officer, who was given life term - passed away during the pendency of case in the apex court. Of the 20 who were given life sentence, one died and two got bail. Seventeen are serving life sentence in jail along with 11 death convicts.