Mumbai, Aug 10: The 1993 serial bomb blasts case has finally come to an end with a TADA court all set to start dictation of its verdict from Thursday in the presence of all the 123 accused, including actor Sanjay Dutt.
The 94 accused on bail and 29 in custody have been summoned to the court by designated Judge P D Kode who would start dictating the verdict 13 years after the blasts rocked the city, killing 257 persons and injuring 713.
The court may take more than a fortnight to deliver the entire verdict considering the testimony of 686 witnesses in over 13,000 pages of evidence tendered by them—a record of sorts in Indian legal history.
The security in and around the court has been tightened since Wednesday and police has imposed section 144 CrPC in and around the court premises banning the assembly of five or more persons.
The CBI roped in 198 accused in the case ,in 1993 soon after the blasts. Of these, 29 were discharged due to lack of evidence and 29 others, including prime accused Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa, were shown as absconding.
Of the remaining 140 accused, 11 died during the trial while two others, Abu Asim Azmi and Amjad Mehr Baksh were discharged by Supreme Court. Another accused, Riaz Khatri jumped bail on September 23, 1996 and is absconding.
The trial of three more accused, Abu Salem, Riaz Siddiqui and Mustaffa Dossa has been separated leaving 123 accused to face the trial in the main case, according to Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.
A series of explosions rocked 13 places in the city on March 12, 1993 and property worth Rs 27 crore was destroyed in the blasts.
The blasts were masterminded by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim with the help of his lieutenants Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa, allegedly at the instance of Pakistan's intelligence agency, ISI, to avenge demolition of disputed Babri Masjid, the CBI has said in the chargesheet.