Four accused, who were acquitted by the TADA court of the charge of conspiring in the 1993 coordinated Mumbai blasts, were on Thursday convicted and sentenced to life term by the Supreme Court.
The apex court allowed the CBI's appeal against acquittal of the four accused from conspiracy charge saying that the special judge of designated Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court had committed an "error" in not convicting them for the larger conspiracy.
The bench convicted Sharif Abdul Gafoor Parker, Manoj Kumar Gupta, Farooq Motorwala and Mohd Rafique Usman Shaikh for the offence of conspiracy and sentenced them to life term.
"We are of the view that the special judge committed an error in not convicting the respondents for the larger conspiracy. Therefore, the appeal is allowed and he (Shaikh) is awarded life imprisonment.
"He is directed to surrender before the designated court within a period of four weeks to serve out the remaining sentence, failing which the designated court will secure his custody and send him to jail to serve out the sentence," a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said.
The same order was for the other three convicts.
Parker, Gupta, Motorwala and Shaikh were sentenced to varying jail terms from 14 to five years by the TADA court under the provisions of the stringent anti-terror law but were acquitted of the charge of conspiracy.
The bench said Shaikh had gone to Pakistan for taking training in handling arms and explosives and he was also aware of the purpose of the training.
"In view of the fact that the respondent (Shaikh) had gone to Pakistan and took training in handling the arms, ammunition and explosives and also attended the conspiratorial meeting at Dubai and took oath in the name of Quran not to divulge any information regarding the conspiracy, it is abundantly clear that the respondent was aware of the purpose of training in Pakistan and he undertook the training there without any protest," it said.