93 Bomb Blast Case: Yakub Memon Death Sentence Appeal Supreme Court Judgement: Part 033

Retracted Confessions:

368) We have already held that the confessional statement made by a person under Section 15 of TADA shall be admissible in the trial of a co-accused for offence committed and tried in the same case together with the accused who makes the confession. A confessional statement given under Section 15 shall not be discarded merely for the reason that the same has been retracted. Further, a voluntary and truthful confessional statement recorded under Section 15 of the TADA Act requires no corroboration. Since the very same objection raised in the connected appeals was considered earlier, we are not once again repeating the same. The said conclusion is applicable to these appeals also.

Deposition of Prosecution Witnesses:

Deposition of Mohammed Usman Jan Khan (PW-2) (Approver)

369) In the deposition of PW-2, the following statements are relevant:

(i) PW-2 deposed that he knew A-11. He identified the appellant in the Court.

(ii) He mentioned that Tiger Memon along with other co-accused was waiting for the appellant to come with his Commander Jeep after the landing had taken place at Shekhadi.

(iii) On reaching Nagothane Petrol Pump, Shafi took the co-accused to the South Indian Hotel at the Petrol Pump where the witness saw the appellant (A-11) sitting with Tiger along with Anwar Theba (AA), Munna, Karimullah, Ethesham, Akbar. Then they all had lunch in the hotel.

(iv) He also deposed about the landing of AK-56 rifles, rounds, hand grenades, pistols, magazines and RDX i.e. “Kala Sabun”.

(v) He also gave details of their stay at Hotel Persian Darbar where the appellant (A-11) was also present.

(vi) On the same day, i.e., on 10.02.1993, at about 7:30 p.m., Tiger Memon came to Hotel Persian Darbar with A-16. Tiger Memon went to the room of the witness and told Shafi to shift the box which they had brought from their Jeep to the Jeep of the appellant (A-11).

(vii) PW-2 also told about the meeting which took place at the house of Shakil, and thereafter, the meeting with the appellant (A-11) outside Lucky Hotel.

370) Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that A-11 had no involvement in the conspiracy and was used as a driver to transport goods and people from one place to another and also that the presence of A-11 in the important conspiratorial meetings has not been mentioned by the approver. It is pointed out by the prosecution that the charges against the appellant have been fully established by the admissible and reliable evidence on record. It is also stated that it is not necessary that the approver ought to speak about each and every aspect of the prosecution case. It is not the case of the appellant that the approver present an inherently contradictory facts than the one proved by the prosecution. It is also pointed out that A-11 has admitted that he was present when the chemical (black soap/ RDX) was being filled in the vehicles, viz., one jeep, 2 Maruti cars, one Maruti Van, one Ambassador and 5 scooters. He further stated as under:

“While filling the chemical, firstly a layer of chemical was filled and then pieces of iron were spreaded over and again a layer of chemical was filled and pressed. I also had done some work. Something like pencil was pierced into the chemical when the work of filling the chemical was over and before we left taking the vehicle in the morning. This work of piercing the pencil into was done by Anvar and some other 1-2 boys.” Further, when a question was put to him as to why these arms and ammunitions were brought and what was the motive behind the conspiracy, he answered that this was to avenge the loss suffered by Muslims during the riots and he further admitted to be knowing the consequences of the actions, i.e., the destruction that would take place due to their actions.

Deposition of 5 Shekhar Shukra Devadiga (PW-15) (eye-witness)

PW-15 has deposed as under:-

(i) He had seen A-11 parking the Jeep at Century Bazaar on 12.03.1993.

(ii) He identified A-11 in the Test Identification Parade held on 14.05.1993 by Moreshwar Gopal Thakur, Special Executive Magistrate, (PW-469) for which Memorandum Exhibit 1512 was prepared.

(iii) He again identified A-11 in the Court and said that he had observed A-11 very carefully prior to identifying him.

(iv) He identified the appellant (A-11) as the person who brought the blue jeep and parked it in front of his shop which subsequently exploded.

(iv) He deposed that other than identifying the appellant (A-11) in Court and seeing him on the day of the blast, he had never seen him before. Regarding the evidence given by PW-15, learned counsel for the appellant (A-11) has contended that the eye witness had left the city after the blast and, hence, he was not reliable. In reply to the said contention, it is rightly pointed out that this is normal human conduct. Further, it has come on record that many persons left the city immediately after the blasts. The people who were injured or who had witnessed the blasts were very scared and horrified by the incident. Similar explosions were caused at various places in the city. So the people of the city were frightened and went to their native places. The said conduct of the witness does not render his testimony doubtful.

Deposition of Moreshwar Gopal Thakur, Special Executive Magistrate, (PW-469)

PW-469, the Special Magistrate, deposed on 01.02.1999. He stated that he conducted the Test Identification parade on 14.05.1993 for PW-15 for the identification of A-11. The eyewitness (Shri Shreedharan Govindan and Shri Shekhara Shukara Devadiga (PW-15)) identified the appellant (A-11) as the person who parked the blue jeep near Century Bazaar, Worli. The witness also proved Exhibit 1512 which was the identification parade panchnama.

Deposition of Maharajpuram Subramaniyam Seshadri (PW–327)

At the relevant time, PW-327 was the Deputy General Manager, Quality Control, Mahindra & Mahindra Company. He deposed as under:

(i) The bumper (Article No.406) was of a Commander Jeep. The said article was proved to be a part of front bumper of Mahindra Jeep, Commander hard top model shown to him by Inspector Gaikwad at the office of Police at Crawford Market.

(ii) He also proved his report being Exhibit No. 655 and gave the same to Police officer Gaikwad.

Deposition of Anilkumar Vithal Kamat (PW 669)

At the relevant time, PW-669 was the Inspector of Police. He deposed as under:

(i) He seized 11 articles from the place of occurrence in the presence of FSL Experts and prepared a Panchnama Exhibit 2466. This panchnama contains the details of collection of samples by Chemical Analyser and the chassis and engine number of fully burnt cars.

(ii) One engine was also seized from the place of occurrence. He also stated that the investigation carried out so far by him provided reasonable ground to believe the involvement of A-11.

(iii) He arrested the appellant.

(iv) He obtained the custody of the appellant (A-11) on 12.05.1993 from the Designated Court.

(v) He interrogated the appellant (A-11) and put him for identification parade.

Deposition of Fatehsingh Sohanrao Gaekwad (PW-543)

At the relevant time, PW-543 was working with the DCB, CID. His deposition was recorded on 09.12.1999. He also proved the death of various persons in the said blasts. He deposed that:

(i) He recorded the statement of the appellant (A-11) in August 1993 under Section 108 of Customs Act, 1962 in respect of damage done to the property due to bomb blast.

(ii) He sought the order of sanction for prosecution of the appellant (A-11), who had already been arrested by him along with other accused. It has been contended by learned counsel for the appellant that PW-543 had made a mistake and had admitted the same in paragraph 21, so it can be inferred that they were acting negligently and they have not adhered to the provisions of the Code. PW-543 admitted as under:

“Though I had formally arrested the said 11 accused persons, the said persons being in judicial custody, I had not taken custody of the same and hence, I had not drawn any arrest panchnama while formally showing them to be arrested in C.R. No. 1 1 7/93. My earlier statement of myself having formally arrested the said 11 accused persons before applying for grant of sanction is incorrect statement. I made the said mistake of fact while giving the said answer.” It is pointed out by the prosecution that this mistake was a bonafide one which the officer corrected at the earliest opportunity. He has also admitted the same in his deposition. The error made by him was an honest human error which cannot be said to have caused any prejudice to the appellant (A-11). From the admission of the officer, it can be conclusively inferred that the investigation was not manipulated and the officers were careful in the work done by them.

Deposition of Mahesh Yashwarnt Athavale (PW-611)

At the relevant time, PW-611 was attached with the Dadar Police Station as a P.S.I. He inspected the scene of offence. On 24.03.2000, he deposed before the Court as under:

(i) A Panchnama was drawn by him being Exhibit No. 1182 at the site regarding the prevailing situation and ascertaining the damage in the presence of panch witness Gaurishankar Rajnarayan Oza (PW-307).

(ii) The said Panchnama was in respect of the inspection of the site of explosion and the seizure of bumper of the vehicle bearing No. MP-09-S- 0070 (Article No.-406).

(iv) The panchnama also records that a crater 11 feet long (south to north), 14 ft, 9 inches long (east to west) and (5ft, 9 inches deep) was found after explosion at Century Bazaar, Worli.

(v) The windows of the nearby buildings were broken and extensive damage was caused in and around the blast site.

(vi) Many vehicles were damaged and two cars were fully burnt.

(vii) The said Panchnama was also proved by PW-307. It was submitted on behalf of the appellant that the complainant has described the scene of explosion but he has not mentioned the name of anyone as the accused, so his complaint and testimony are not reliable and admissible. It is submitted that merely because the complaint does not carry the name of the accused, it would not lose its significance.

Deposition of Hari Shridhar Bhangale (PW-306)

PW-306 was a Constable attached with the Dadar Police Station. At the relevant time, he was posted at Police Chowky near Century Bazaar along with Police Naik Keny. He deposed before the court that:-

(i) He heard a loud explosion at the side of Ramodia Mansion on Annie Beasant Road.

(ii) He also felt a jolt while in chowky.

(iii) He saw dense smoke billowing and he rushed to the place of explosion.

(iv) At the place of explosion, he found that a big ditch/crater was formed and that other buildings, BEST buses, motor taxis and several cars on the said road got damaged and many persons sustained injuries and had succumbed to death and were lying nearby the spot.

(v) He had taken 25 injured persons to Poddar Hospital.

FOR FULL JUDGEMENT, PLEASE CHECK THE LINKS BELOW:

93 Bomb Blast Case: Yakub Memon Death Sentence Appeal Supreme Court Judgement:

Part 001 / Part 002 / Part 003 / Part 004 / Part 005 / Part 006 / Part 007 / Part 008 / Part 009 / Part 010 / Part 011 / Part 012 / Part 013 / Part 014 / Part 015 / Part 016 / Part 017 / Part 018 / Part 019 / Part 020 / Part 021 / Part 022 / Part 023 / Part 024 / Part 025 / Part 026 / Part 027 / Part 028 / Part 029 / Part 030 / Part 031 / Part 032 / Part 033 / Part 034 / Part 035 / Part 036 / Part 037 / Part 038 / Part 039 / Part 040 / Part 041 / Part 042 / Part 043 / Part 044 / Part 045

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