The designated MCOCA court that convicted Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal and eleven others in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case will pronounce their sentences on Tuesday.
On Saturday, after special public prosecutor Vaibhav Baghade and advocate Abhijit Mantri sought the maximum punishment for all convicts, the court said it will adjourn the pronouncement of the sentences till Tuesday, as it has to go through the voluminous records presented by both sides .
Last week, the MCOCA court convicted Jundal and the eleven others for bringing in a huge consignment of arms, ammunition and explosives to Aurangabad in 2006. A team of the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had initially recovered 30kg of RDX, 10 AK-47 rifles and 3,200 rounds of ammunition after a car chase on May 9, 2006.
Eventually, the ATS seized a total of 43kg of RDX, 16 AK-47 assault rifles, 3,200 live cartridges, 62 magazines and 16 magazine pouches of AK-47 rifles.
The court said the consignment had been procured from Pakistan with the help of a wanted accused Junaid, alias Rasheed Abdulla alias Abdul Aziz, a Pakistani national and an LeT operative.
The court also accepted the prosecution’s case that the arms were brought in for the larger conspiracy of assassinating Narendra Modi, then the CM of Gujarat, and Hindu leader Praveen Togadia, to avenge the Godhra incident.
The prosecution argued against leniency for the convicts, saying the court should consider the size of the procurement and how its use would have caused a great loss to the country.
“The court should consider the presence of the convicts is proved, every link has been established and their active participation in the procurement of these arms and ammunitions and its distribution is proved by the prosecution. The accused are directly responsible for the act,” Baghade argued.
Baghade countered the defence’s argument on the possibility that the convicts could be reformed. He said the theory of reformation is only good in books.
“The court should consider the motive and its larger implication on society while awarding the sentence . In case of such a crime where the nation is under threat, the court should give a deterrent punishment,” the prosecution said.
The prosecution also pointed out that the tempo that carried the weapons and explosives to India and delivered them to the convicts at Pipat village, is yet to be traced.
“The agency was not able to trace the tempo, and the accused are still absconding. The threat for India still continues. This may have been just one module that was nabbed. There is possibility there are other modules and weapons were also given to them. The danger still prevails. It was for an attack to shake the Indian Territory. In such cases no leniency should be given,” Baghade pleaded concluding his arguments on sentencing on Saturday.