III. Sajjad Alam @ Iqbal Abdul Hakim Nazir (A-61) Vs. State of Maharashtra
Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987
Section 3(3) – Bombay Blast case – Conviction under Section 3(3) of TADA – Involvement of A-61 – Confessional statement – Admitted having taken auto-rickshaw to place of landing – Saw 16 rifles and 32 cassettes being taken into a room – Took A14 to Mehandari, where A-25 gave 3 rifles and 6 cassettes to A14 – Thereafter he and A14 brought arms to Lonery Phata – When Tiger Memon (AA) came, he shifted the same to his car. Held, it is established that A-61 was closely associated with Tiger Memon (AA) and participated in effecting the said landing. He was also involved in concealing the arms and ammunitions. Conviction under Section 3(3) of TADA upheld.
The evidence on record clearly establishes the above and thus, the fact that he was one of the main persons who was responsible for effecting the said landing. Hence, he has rightly been convicted by the learned Special Judge under Section 3(3) TADA, and no interference is required in the said order. (Para 175)
160. The appellant (A-61) has been convicted under Section 3(3) TADA on two counts, and has been awarded 7 years rigorous imprisonment alongwith a fine of Rs. 50,000/-, and in default of payment of fine, to suffer suitable RI.
161. The appellant (A-61) has been charged for criminal conspiracy, and in addition thereto, has also been charged under Section 3(3) for his participation in the landing at Shekhadi on 3rd and 7th February, 1993 and in the transportation of arms, ammunition, hand grenades and explosives like RDX which were to be used in the Bombay Blast on 12.3.1993, and further, for using his auto rickshaw bearing registration No.MH-06-2243 to bring the aforementioned smuggled items to Bombay. He has been acquitted of the first charge of conspiracy, however, he has been convicted of the second charge under Section 3(3), and has been sentenced as referred to hereinabove.
162. Ms. Farhana Shah, learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that his confession had not been made voluntarily, and that the same had been retracted on 3.12.93 and therefore, must not be taken into consideration. Hence, the appeal deserves to be allowed.
163. Shri Mukul Gupta, learned senior counsel for the respondent, has submitted that even if the confessional statement of the appellant (A-61) was retracted, the same has been corroborated by the confessional statements of the other co-accused, as well as by the depositions of various witnesses. Therefore, this appeal deserves to be dismissed.
164. We have considered the rival submissions made by learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
165. Evidence against the appellant (A-61):
(a) Confessional statement of the appellant (A-61)
(b) Confessional statement of Dawood Taklya (A-14)
(c) Confessional statement of Khalil Ahmed Sayed Ali Nasir (A-42)
(d) Confessional statement of Imtiyaz Yunusmiya Ghavte (A-15)
(e) Confessional statement of Muzammil Umar Kadri (A-25)
(f) Confessional statement of Tulsiram Dhondu Surve (A-62)
(g) Deposition of Vijay Govind More (PW-137)
(h) Depositions of Chandrakant Afaraz (PW-111), Vyankatesh Hirba (PW-588) and Shridhar Gawade (PW- 151).
166. Confessional Statement of Sajjad Alam @ Iqbal Abdul Hakim Nazir (A-61):
His own confession has been recorded by Shri K.L. Bishnoi, DCP (PW.193), wherein he has revealed that he had taken certain persons in his auto rickshaw bearing No. MH-06-2243, to the place of the landing. He had seen that certain materials had been removed in gunny bags from a jeep i.e. 16 rifles and 32 cassettes and that the same were taken into a room where the appellant (A.61) was not allowed to enter. He had been paid Rs.4,000/- for participating in two landings.
166.1 He has further revealed that on 9.2.1993 Dawood Taklya (A- 14) had met him at the Mhasla S.T. Stop and had asked him to come to Mehandari. He (A-61) had taken him to Mehandari where they met Khalil Nazir and Muzammil (A-25). Here, Dawood had told Muzammil to hand over to him 3 rifles and 6 cassettes. Muzammil had then handed over the said weapons in gunny bags. The appellant (A-61), Khalil and Dawood Taklya (A-14) had gone alongwith the said arms, to Lonery Phata. After sometime Tiger Memon (AA) had arrived there in his blue Maruti car and thereafter, the said goods were shifted to his car.
167. Confessional Statement of Dawood Taklya (A-14):
He has disclosed that on the date of the landing, Tiger Memon (AA) had sent him to the place of landing alongwith some persons who had also been given guns by Tiger Memon (AA). Such armed persons were spread over all sides. After sometime the said goods had arrived in a trawler. Persons who had been called from the village then began to unload these goods and bringing them to shore. Khalil and Iqbal (A-61) had also come there with trucks. The entire cargo was loaded into two trucks and thereafter, they all come to T.V. Tower, where the said goods were unloaded. Some time after this, Tiger had instructed them to remove all the empty boxes and jute bags from there and to burn the same. When they had gone inside, they had seen the men of Tiger opening boxes which contained rifles, pistols, bullets, hand grenades, black soap and bundles of wires with white pencils on top.
168. Confessional Statement of Khalil Ahmed Sayed Ali Nasir (A-42):
His statement has disclosed that the aforementioned goods were smuggled. He had gone to the house of Dawood Taklya (A- 14) in the afternoon at about 4 p.m. to inform him that the landing of the said goods would take place that night, and that appellant (A-61) should thus be sent to Dawood Taklya at 7 p.m. by Rickshaw. On the said day he had sent appellant (A-61) from Mehandari to Mhasla in his Rickshaw.
169. Confessional Statement of Imtiyaz Yunusmiya Ghavte (A-15):
He has deposed about the landing at Shekhadi in early February. He had gone to Tigers residence at the Al-Husseini Building, and it was there that he had learnt of the said landing. Shafi and Rafiq were also present there at such time. From there, they had gone to Shekhadi for the landing alongwith a large number of persons, and after the landing, the goods were brought to the Wangni Tower. The appellant (A-61) had been present at the Tower with his Rickshaw.
170. Confessional Statement of Muzammil Umar Kadri (A- 25):
His confessional statement has disclosed that on 3.2.1993, in the evening at about 7.30 p.m. he had been told by Khalil from Mehandari, that he should stay alongwith Suleman (A-18), at a particular house. When he had gone there, he had found Sajjad Alam (A-61) Rickshawala there. The appellant (A-61) had come there after having dropped Dawood Taklya (A-14) and Khalil to Shekhadi. He has further furnished other details regarding the landing on 7.2.1993. He has said that at 11.30 p.m., Dawood (A- 14) had come in the rickshaw of the appellant (A-61), and had collected 3 rifles and 6 cassettes which had been kept with him in January, 1993. The remaining 13 rifles and 26 cassettes were recovered by the police from his house later on.
171. Confessional statement of Tulsi Ram Dhondu Surve (A-62):
He is a government employee and working at Wangni tower. He has identified A-61 and named him as a participant in smuggling, landing and transportation.
172. Deposition of Vijay Govind More (PW-137):
He has deposed that he was a labourer working at the Tower, and has identified the appellant (A-61) in court as the person who had come to the Tower quite often. He has also named him as a participant in smuggling, landing and transportation.
173. Chandrakant Afaraz (PW-111), Vyankatesh Hirba (PW- 588), PSI of the Mhasla Police Station and Shridhar Gawade (PW-151) have proved the Seizure Memo of the auto-rickshaw and the related panchnama.
174. After due consideration of the entire evidence on record, the Designated Court came to the conclusion that the appellant (A-61) being involved in the Shekhadi landing operation, has committed the offence under section 3(3) TADA. The appellant (A-61) was a close associate of Dawood Taklya (A-14) and had participated and/or assisted Dawood Taklya (A-14) in effecting the said landing. The appellant (A-61) had also taken Dawood Taklya (A-14) and his other associates to the Shekhadi coast, at odd hours of the night for the purpose of the landing operation. Even prior to the said landing, the appellant (A-61) had been involved in the concealment of rifles and magazines at residence of Muzammil Umar Kadri (A-25), and thereafter on 9.2.1993, had transported rifles and magazines from the house of Muzammil Umar Kadri (A- 25) and had handed over the same to Tiger Memon (AA) at Lonery Phata. The appellant (A-61) had also received an amount of Rs. 4000/- for the work done by him in the landing operation.
175. The evidence on record clearly establishes the above and thus, the fact that he was one of the main persons who was responsible for effecting the said landing. Hence, he has rightly been convicted by the learned Special Judge under Section 3(3) TADA, and no interference is required in the said order.