Mumbai: Justice Pramod Dattaram Kode, who presided over a special TADA court which heard the 13-year-long Mumbai blast case of 1993 and held Sanjay Dutt guilty of possessing arms illegally, has retired as additional judge of the Bombay High Court.
High court sources today said he retired on February 12 after he turned 62 years.
He was in the TADA court prior to becoming judge at the high court.
During the verdict, he had held 100 accused guilty of causing the 11 coordinated blasts which killed 257 people and left over 700 maimed and injured for life. Among these convicts was actor Dutt, who was found guilty of possessing arms in a notified area.
The 1993 bomb blast case was the longest criminal case in India's history. Justice Kode, who earned the reputation of being a fair judge, had even allowed some of the accused to go for Haj pilgrimage.
He took no leave from March 1996 until June 2009 during his tenure as a TADA judge. Justice Kode never abstained from work even after his parents passed away midway during the trial or after he broke his arm due to slipping in the bathroom, sources said.
Justice Kode enrolled as an advocate on March 17, 1977 and practised in the district and sessions courts in Thane for about 15 years. Later, he served as the Civil and Sessions Judge in Mumbai from April 15, 1991.
Later, Justice Kode became a designated judge under TADA for Greater Bombay from October 11, 1993. He presided over a TADA court hearing the 1993 Mumbai blast case at Arthur Road Central Prison from March 29, 1996.
On February 10, 2009, he was appointed additional judge of the Bombay High Court.
Recently, he earned the distinction of settling 42 matters in the high court in a single day, pertaining mostly to bails and criminal appeals, sources said.
As a high court judge, Kode who was sitting in a division bench last year, upheld the death sentence of Santosh Mane, the bus driver who had crushed to death three people and ran over 36 others, injuring them seriously after hijacking a state transport bus.