The defence advocates on Friday asked for a lenient sentence for the 12 people convicted for their role in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case on Thursday. The convicts pleaded leniency on grounds including their ill-health, poor condition of their family and the loss of reputation they have suffered due to imprisonment.
The advocates’ primary contentions was that there was a chance for the convicts to reform and hence, they should be awarded a minimum sentence.Their advocates that the sentences should be awarded considering their role and mitigating circumstances as against the crime.
The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Thursday convicted Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, along with eleven others for their role in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul, where the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) recovered 30kg RDX, 10 AK-47 rifles and 3,200 rounds of ammunitionafter a car chase on May 9, 2006 .
Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia and arrested in June 2012, had led the ATS to seize 13kg RDX, 1,200 cartridges and 50 hand grenades.
Yug Chaudhary contended that with passage of time, the law of sentencing has evolved. Only the convicts who played a larger role should be awarded maximum punishment, and the rest given leniency, pleaded Chaudhary.
“As per the prosecution’s case, two key conspirators are still absconding while these accused are just archers. They had no motive. The court should consider that they had a huge consignment of arms and ammunition but did not attacked the police. They have respect towards the machinery,” Chaudhary contended.
Wahab Khan argued that the convicts had suffered enough since the past 10 years after they were named in the case and arrested. “Their life has been ruined and they have undergone a lot of pain. There circumstances show that they have changed and there is a possibility of their reformation,” Khan argued.
Sharif Shaikh, another defence advocate, adopted the arguments advanced by Chaudhary and Khan. After the arguments concluded, the prosecution sought time. The prosecution will now argue on quantum of sentence on Saturday.