I. Jayawant Keshav Gaurav (A-82) Vs. State of Maharashtra
453. The first respondent has been charged, in addition to the main charge of conspiracy, for facilitating the transportation of arms and ammunition by piloting two motor trucks laden with arms, ammunition and explosives, in order to ensure safe passage of the same, in a jeep belonging to the Customs Department, bearing registration No. BLB 4352, from Gondghar Phata to Kanghar, and for permitting the accused Uttam Shantaram Potdar (A-30), to drive the aforesaid government jeep for the said purpose on the intervening night between 9th/10th January, 1993. The said acts amount to the abetment of Mohd. Dossa and his associates for smuggling arms, ammunition and explosives, which were brought into the country for the commission of terrorist acts, and hence, abetment of the said attacks. Additionally, he has been charged for facilitating the smuggling and transportation of arms, ammunition and explosives by Tiger Memon (AA), on the 3rd and 7th February, 1993. Thus, the charge is one under Section 3(3) TADA.
He (A-82) has been convicted under Section 3(3) TADA and has been awarded RI of 8 years alongwith a fine of Rs. 1 lakh, and in default of payment of fine, to further undergo RI for 3 years. He has filed Criminal Appeal No. 271 of 2008 against the said order of conviction, even though he has served the sentence for a period of 8 years, and has paid the fine.
454. The learned Designated Court, after appreciating the entire evidence on record, came to the conclusion that the confessional statement of Jayawant Keshav Gaurav (A-82) has revealed his involvement in the Shekhadi landing, and in the transportation of the smuggled contraband, alongwith various other co-accused, particularly, Dawood Taklya (A-14), Uttam Shantaram Potdar (A-30), Ranjit Kumar Singh Baleshwar Prasad (A-102), Sudhanwa Sadashiv Talwadekar (A-113), Vijay Krishnaji Patil (A-116) and Tiger Memon (AA) and has held as under:
Since all the said material is so self eloquent that same will need no dilation for coming to conclusion as stated aforesaid. Amongst other the same reveals that A-82 being participant in commission of offence regarding Dighi landing. A-82 being also recipient of bribe amount. A- 82 alongwith A-113 being present at Shekhadi coast when landing was to be effected hardly they had taken any steps for preventing same and on the contrary their conversation with Tiger Memon clearly reveals that instead of taking matter seriously they were interested in making fun of Government missionary to which they were party and were required to act diligently for protecting economy of Nation. However as observed earlier and taking into account act committed by A-82 who was of lower rank of officers of Customs Department of which higher officers were involved in conspiracy he can not be said to be guilty for offence of conspiracy for which charge at head 1st Iy is framed against him at the trial. Needless to add that same is apparent that there is paucity of evidence regarding knowledge of A-82 of contraband goods being arms, ammunition and explosives and purposes for which same was brought. So also he can not be said to be guilty for offence of conspiracy for serial blast as acts committed by him was much prior than even fixing of targets for serial blast by Tiger Memon. Such conclusion is further fortified by fact of A-82 having not found to have committed any other act after said landing and excepting act of nabbing culprits which would never have been feasible in view of he himself having abetted acts committed by them.
455. The aforesaid findings by the learned Special Judge make it crystal clear, that he (A-82) was guilty of facilitating such landings and transportation as being a Customs Inspector, he was the recipient of a bribe amount. He (A-82) had conversations with Tiger Memon (AA) and had further allowed Uttam Potdar (A-30) to drive a customs car. However, as he (A-82) was an officer of a lower rank in the Customs Department, it was his superior officers who were actually involved in the conspiracy. His involvement was to the extent of the offence punishable under Section 3(3) TADA, which includes conspiracy to a certain extent, as well as of offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code; the Explosives Act; the Explosives Substances Act; and the Arms Act etc. Thus, despite the fact that he himself had been involved in abetting the landing and transportation of contraband, he could not be held guilty of the larger conspiracy. The appeal with respect to Jayawant Gauruv (A-82) was hence, dismissed.