AHMEDABAD: Supreme Court on Thursday acquitted two persons and upheld conviction of two others in connection with the 2002 tiffin-bomb blast case, in which the state government had invoked the Pota.Habib Hawa and Hanif Pakitwala will walk out declared innocent, after spending 13 years in jail. The apex court also ended the imprisonment of two others — Anas Machiswala and Kalim Ahmed — and ordered their release by treating the 13 years they spent in jail as punishment already undergone. All four were convicted to life imprisonment by Gujarat high court, their advocate Khalid Shaikh said.These four men were convicted in relation to five bombs planted in tiffin boxes aboard Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) buses on May 29, 2002. Three of the bombs went off, injuring 13 persons. The blasts were shown to be a reaction to the 2002 riots.After investigation, city crime branch filed chargesheets against 21 persons for hatching a criminal conspiracy to carry out reprisals for the riots. They were also charged under Pota and the Explosive Substances Act apart from provisions of the Indian Penal Code.The special Pota court discharged four persons from the case. On May 29. 2006, after trying 17 accused, the court acquitted 12 and convicted five - Hawa, Pakitwala, Kalim Ahmed, Machiswala and Maulvi Mansuri. They were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.The convicts challenged the Pota court order in the high court, while the state government also challenged the order before the HC, seeking the punishment to be enhanced.The appeals were heard by a bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice H B Antani. The HC upheld convictions of the four and acquitted Mansuri. While upholding the convictions of the four, the HC enhanced their their punishment from a 10-year jail term to life imprisonment.Advocate Shaikh said that Machiswala and Kalim Ahmed, whose convictions were upheld by the SC, confessed to the crime of hatching a conspiracy in another case, which involved an 'ISI conspiracy'.TOI
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at:2:21 PM)
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