|Citation||(2013) 13 SCC 1|
|Date of Judgement||21 March 2013|
|Case Type||Criminal Appeal No. 1178 of 2017|
|Appellant||Anjum Abdul Razak Memon|
|Respondent||State of Maharashtra|
|Bench||SS Shinde, Manish Pitale|
Facts of the Case
The bomb blasts that happened on 12 March 1993 at various places in parts of Mumbai like BSE, various hotels like Hotel Sea Rock, Bandra, Centaur in Juhu, Santacruz, AIR India Building, and many more places were accused of being done by the appellant as a part of criminal conspiracy. The appellant, Abdul Razak Memon, a B.com student aged 17 years and 3 months was held to be part of that criminal conspiracy, along with him there were many more accused who were actively involved in this criminal conspiracy of the bomb blast. A lot of deadly weapons imported from Pakistan were used in this illegal act like grenades, RDX, and explosives with the evil intention of provoking communal riots between Hindus and Muslim communities.
The whole act was done to intimidate the government and spread terrorism, battle camps were made in several parts of Pakistan and India, where the young teens and youth belonging to the Muslim community were trained to use weapons and were brainwashed to kill innocent people and create fear and awe. Many people died around 257 as reported, around 713 people were injured and a total amount of 27 crore was estimated as loss occurred to the people of Mumbai by the explosions. All the accused were tried under various sections of relevant acts like Section -120-B of the Indian Penal Code,1860, Section-3(3), 3(2)(i)(ii), 3(3)(4), 5, and 6 of the TADA (P) Act, 1987, and Section- 302,307, 9(B)(1)(a)(b)(c), 3, 4(a)(b) of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,1984, Section- 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substance Act, 1908.
Abdul Razak Memon has extended his hands in this criminal conspiracy by facilitating the terrorists, use of his property bought by his father(deceased), property as stated is garage no. C-3 and a flat (No.25) situated at Al-Hussaini Cooperative Housing Society LTD, on the sixth floor of the building for storing ammunition.
The appellant has filed a revision petition in the Supreme Court to reduce the duration of the sentence as earlier decided to be life imprisonment.
Issues of the case-
- Whether the appellant was involved in the conspiracy and whether he had any role in planting bombs.
- Whether the death penalty is what is to be given or any punishment but the death penalty as he was a minor and not the principal offender.
- The appellant in the present case contended that since he was a minor that is under the age of 18 years, a relevant act should have been applied and that the proceedings should have taken place following the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ ACT), 2000 and therefore, the act under which he is tried (TADA) is inapplicable in the given case.
- That, he is not the actual owner of the property as stated in the facts but merely resides in it.
- He had certain medical conditions which might be detrimental to his health and hence the quantum RI be reduced to a reasonable period.
- That he was not aware of the fact that his elder brother Tiger Memon was engaged in such activities.
Earlier the case went to a special court under the TADA in which the appellant was convicted and given a death sentence, therefore he filed a revision petition in the supreme court to reduce the quantum of his punishment to a reasonable period.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant on various facts and circumstances that led to proof that the appellant was guilty of the offense and had hands in the criminal conspiracy. The fact that property in possession of the accused and others among them were in serial number 24,25,26 of the same building and belonged to the Memon family who fled to Pakistan as soon as the explosion happened in the city of Mumbai.
He also didn’t report about the placing of various bomb blast materials like grenades, RDX, and other stuff, even though he was the owner of the property or the property was merely in possession of him. Also, the court had evidence that he already had a fake passport from Pakistan and fake ID cards showing them as residents of the same.
The Supreme Court observed that he was fully aware of the acts of his brother Tiger Memon and assisted in the acts supervised under him and also that he was the owner of the vehicles used in planting bombs by relying on the documentary and oral evidence sufficiently establishing his ownership and possession and therefore the court rejected his plea of ignorance and innocence.
The Court observed that he cannot be given protection under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 for committing such heinous crimes as assisting in terrorism and that he was rightly convicted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) since he had the knowledge of the consequences of such act and also had the intention to do so.
Written by Shivansh Saluja an intern under legal vidhiya.