The special TADA court on Wednesday convicted three friends of Sanjay Dutt - Sameer Hingora, Ibrahim Moosa Chauhan alias Baba - on the charges of possessing weapons in a notified area, while Rusi Mulla was charged under the Arms Act.
Judge Pramod Kode convicted Rusi Mulla, a spare part-making unit owner and an associate of Sanjay Dutt, under the Arms Act similar to the charges on Dutt.
On an application made by his lawyer, Farhana Shah, the court has granted him time to surrender considering his old age and medical condition, till December 18.
Mulla was acquitted of conspiracy, possession of a 9mm pistol and cartridges in a TADA notified area and aiding and abetting convict Kersi Adejania by receiving the pistol and then handing it over to accused Ajay Marwah.
Judge Kode convicted Mulla based on the confessional statement of co-accused and other evidence.
Next in the dock was Ibrahim Chauhan, the owner of Chauhan motor driving school. Chauhan was convicted for the charge of aiding and abetting conspirators and distributing of arms and ammunition to Sanjay Dutt and another convict Salim Mira Sheikh alias Salim Kurla at the instance of accused Anees Ibrahim.
He was also held guilty on the charges of possession of arms and ammunition in a TADA notified area and for storing the weapons with intent to aid terrorist activities.
However, he was acquitted of conspiracy. Chauhan was also convicted based on his confessional statement and other evidence.
The last to step in the dock was Magnum video company owner Sameer Hingora. Hingora was held guilty for conspiracy and aiding and abetting conspirators and supplying three Ak-56 rifles, ammunition and hand grenades to Sanjay Dutt at his residence in Bandra at the instance of Anees Ibrahim.
He was however, acquitted of the charge of booking seven air tickets of East-West airlines on the behest of Yakub Memon by making cash payments and facilitating the escape of conspirators to Pakistan via Dubai.
Even as the court handed down the conviction, counsel Farhana again moved an application asking time for the accused to surrender to which an agitated Judge Kode said, "Farhana you have started a new trend. Even before I convict a person your ready with the application. How can I grant them time? They are convicted of serious charges.
That's when Sameer spoke out, "Sir, tumne conspiracy mein charge kiya hai." (Sir you have convicted me for conspiracy).
On being told by the judge that he was charged on the basis of his confessional statement, in which it shows that he was in touch with Dawood Ibrahim and Anees and worked at their behest, Sameer said, "Sir, Anees had called me and asked to deliver the guitar to Sanjay Dutt. Till I delivered it to Dutt I did not know that there were weapons. The whole industry paid him (Anees Ibrahim) and so did I. So I was in contact with him.
Judge Kode then said, "You should have told this in your confessional statement which you have not done."
Sameer replied saying that police did not ask him, to which Judge Kode said, "You should have given in your statement in court."
Sameer said his lawyers did not allow him do so. An agitated judge then told Sameer to be quiet and directed the police to take him into custody.
Meanwhile, the TADA court extended convict Imtiyaz Gavate's time for surrender till December 21. Gavate was convicted on November 16, for charges of conspiracy, participating in the landing of arms and ammunition at Shekhadi and planting a scooter laden with RDX at Dhanaji street.
Email Mustafa Plumber: email@example.com