Mumbai: Right after a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court on Thursday awarded him death sentence for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, convict Firoz Khan seemed shell-shocked and sat down on the bench. Another convict also awarded the death sentence, Tahir Merchant stood stunned and motionless in the enclosure made for the convicts on hearing the sentence.
Extradited gangster Abu Salem, who was clad in a navy blue trouser and light blue printed shirt, spent around 90 minutes in a restless state, frequently interacting with his lawyers before the quantum of punishment was pronounced against him at around 12.40 pm.
On hearing he was awarded a life term by the TADA court, Salem sat down quietly in a corner of the enclosure.
The court awarded sentences to five case convicts on Thursday.
With the quantum of punishment to be pronounced on Thursday, the sessions court was turned into a police camp. Tight security arrangements were made outside the courtroom.
Reporters were not allowed to carry mobile phones or pens. Pencils, though, were permitted.
The courtroom was jam packed with the accused, lawyers, police personnel, Central Bureau of Investigation officials, journalists and court staff.
All the five convicts, Salem, Merchant, Firoz Khan, Karimullah Khan and Riyaz Siddiqui were sat on the bench in the enclosure made for the accused.
Salem, who was clean shaven, looked anxious and found clutching a bunch of papers in his hand. He frequently conferred with his legal team.
All the other four convicts also looked tense and were in discussion with their respective lawyers from time to time. Pin-drop silence prevailed in the room when the judge started reading the pronouncement of punishment.
All the convicts were standing up to hear the sentencing. After the sentencing all the convicts were seated quietly on the bench and requested to the judge that they wanted to meet with their respective families.