With the death of Mustafa Dossa, convicted by the TADA court here for being one of the masterminds of the 1993 Mumbai blasts conspiracy, some prominent lawyers today said the case against him will abate. Dossa died of cardiac arrest at the government-run J J Hospital today, even as the court is hearing arguments on the quantum of sentence to be given to him and five others. “As of now there is no judgement against Dossa as a judgement consists of both conviction and sentence,” said advocate Yug Choudhary, one of the lawyers who had approached the Supreme Court for a midnight hearing on the last-ditch application filed by Yakub Memon before he was hanged in the 1993 blasts case. Choudhary said the conviction against Dossa was no longer valid.
Senior criminal lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani concurred, saying that the case abates as a sentence cannot be passed against a dead man. Hiten Venegoankar, special CBI and Enforcement Directorate counsel, said since any sentence was yet to be awarded, the trial is “in process”, and it abates against Dossa now. Special public prosecutor in the 1993 blasts case, Deepak Salvi, said generally the case abates in such situations, but the convict’s family members can approach the court if they want to clear his name. In that case, the trial court will pronounce the sentence (so as to complete the judgement) after which they can file an appeal to get the judgement reversed.
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As per the trial court’s verdict, Dossa “actively, wilfully, deliberately and consciously” participated in the first meeting (held at the residence of his elder brother Mohammed Dossa in Dubai) “which gave birth to the original design of the heinous criminal conspiracy”. “For achieving the object of the conspiracy he took the first step and sent arms and ammunition from Dubai and Pakistan to Dighi (in Raigad district) on January 9, 1993,” the court had noted.