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Blast accused not a juvenile, says court

Moin Qureshi, an accused in the 1993 serial blasts case, says he was just 17 yrs and 3 months when arrested, and should therefore be sent to a juvenile court, reports Mustafa Plumber.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2006 04:48 IST

The Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court on Wednesday rejected Moin Qureshi's (accused number 43 in the 1993 serial blasts case) plea that he was a minor when he was arrested in connection with the case and therefore must be sent to a juvenile court.

In his application, Qureshi had stated that he was 17 years and three months old when the police arrested him for his alleged role in the blasts.

Qureshi had submitted his birth and school certificates to prove his claim. He also stated that the TADA court not proceed on the pronouncement of judgment against himself and five others till the application was decided upon.

A person below the age of 16 is a minor, according to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986. However, the act was amended in 2000 and an explanation added to section 20 stated that only persons below 18 be considered minors.

Therefore, as per the amended act, Qureshi's arrest was illegal.

But Judge Pramod Kode held that the amended act does not apply in Qureshi's case and he cannot be considered a minor at the time of his arrest.

Qureshi could therefore not claim benefits under the amended Juvenile Justice Act, the court ruled.

Wednesday's decision has cleared the way for the pronouncement of judgment against Qureshi and five others accused of lobbing hand grenades at the Mahim fisherman colony killing three and injuring several others.

Five of the six are in custody while one is on interim bail.

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First Published: Nov 23, 2006 04:48 IST