Mumbai: 1993 Mumbai serial blast convicts
cannot get the same concession as the other TADA convicts
undergoing life sentence, state today told Bombay High Court.
Four convicts in the 1993 blasts case -- Niyaz
Mohammad, Moin Qureshi, Ali Shaikh Umar and Salim Mira Shaikh
-- have moved High Court, seeking release. All of them have
served the mandatory 14 years of their life sentence.
Advocate N N Gawankar, their lawyer, argued that
according to the 1992 prison guidelines they should be
released after serving 30 years. But government recently
issued a notification saying that they would have to serve at
least 60 years in the jail.
Public prosecutor Aruna Pai-Kamat said that the
guidelines as to release of life convicts for TADA, POTA,
MCOCA cases are yet to be framed, and 1992 guidelines won`t
apply to them. 1993 blasts case was tried under TADA.
But Gawankar pointed out that recently a TADA convict,
one Abbas Ali Shahadi was released after serving 30 years.
Kamat argued that 1993 blast convicts "are not on par
with other convicts under TADA". "Their act affected the
national security," she added.
However Justice J N Patel, who once presided over the
1993 blasts trial before his elevation to High Court, reminded
her these convicts were not tried for "affecting national
security" or waging war against the government.