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Mumbai, Dec. 12: A TADA court here will begin hearing on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to 100 convicts in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. 
Defence lawyer Harshad Ponda will present his arguments before the court on the behalf of those convicted under Section 3(3) of TADA(P) Act and Section 120-b of the IPC.

After the arguments, which are expected to last a month, the court will sentence convicts.

Depending upon the intensity of crime, under Section 3(3) of TADA, the punishment prescribed ranges from a jail term of five years to life imprisonment, and under Section 120-b of the IPC, it ranges between five years to life imprisonment and the death sentence

The first batch of verdicts relating to the March 12, 1993 Mumbai blast case that killed 257 people and injured several others, concluded on December 4.

In all, 100 accused have been convicted, including Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, while 23 have been acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Sanjay Dutt was acquitted of the grave charge of conspiracy in the 1993 serial blasts, but was found guilty for violating the Arms Act. He was booked for possessing an AK-56 rifle that had come in a consignment of arms and explosives meant for use in the blasts.In the beginning, four members of the Tiger Memon family - Yakub, Essa, Yusuf (brother) and Rubina (sister-in-law) were found guilty in the case, 13 years after the attacks.

Others were who convicted included five policemen for allegedly facilitating the passage of arms and explosives used in the blasts.

The constables are R D Mali, S Y Pashilkar, P M Mahadik and A N Muneshwar and then Sub Inspector at Shrivardhan Police Station in Raigad district Vijay Krishnaji Patil.

They had allegedly allowed the arms and explosives to pass through Ghondgar Phata in Raigad district on January 9 after taking Rs 7 lakh in bribes.

Five customs officers were also convicted. They were former additional customs collector Somnath Thapa, former assistant commissioner R K Singh, former superintendent M S Sayyed, former superintendent S S Talawadekar and former inspector Jaywant Gurav.

For the first time customs officials have been convicted in the case.

Those acquitted include Tiger Memon's relatives - Suleiman (brother), Raheen (sister) and Hanifa (mother).

The blasts are said to have been masterminded by underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa, in collaboration with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, in retaliation for the demolition of the disputed Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.


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