Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 – Bombay Bomb Blast Case – Confession – Section 15 (1) of TADA Act expressly makes confession of an accused recorded by a Police Officer admissible. It is settled position in law that confession so recorded under Section 15 (1) of TADA Act in accordance with statutory requirements and conditions in Rule 15 of TADA Rules is admissible against the maker, co-accused, abettor or a conspirator subject to conditions stipulated in a Proviso to Section 15 (1) of the Act. The confession so recorded in accordance with law and guidelines is taken as substantive piece of evidence and can form the foundation or a basis for conviction of the maker, co-accused, abettor or conspirator. Though the confession if found to be recorded in conformity with the requirements of law can certainly form the basis of conviction as against the maker of such confession, the extent of reliability of such confession as against the coaccused has however been treated with caution.
Bombay Bomb Blast Case
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
(Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla) and (Uday Umesh Lalit) JJ.
May 11, 2016
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.546 of 2004
Mohd. Jalees Ansari and Others … Appellants
Central Bureau of Investigation …. Respondent
J U D G M E N T
Uday U. Lalit, J.
1. This appeal under
Section 19 of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987
(hereinafter referred to as TADA Act) challenges the judgment and final order dated 28.02.2004 passed by the Designated Court Ajmer, Rajasthan in TADA Special Case No.6 of 1994. Originally sixteen accused persons were tried for having committed offences under TADA Act and other enactments. Accused No.6 Irfan Ahmad escaped from custody while the trial was going on and therefore his case was separated. He was later arrested in June, 2015 and is now being proceeded against separately. Accused No.12 Mohd. Azeemuddin though convicted and sentenced by the Designated Court was found to be juvenile on the date of occurrence in this appeal and as such his case stands separated. All the other accused namely A-1 to A-5, A-7 to A-11 and A-13 to A-16 are presently in appeal.
2. There were bomb blasts in various trains during the night intervening 5 th and 6th of December, 1993.
(i) An explosion occurred around 10:50 p.m. on 05.12.1993 in Rajdhani Express running from New Delhi to Howrah. In that explosion near Kanpur Railway Station, two persons were injured. FIR No.595/1993 (Ext. P-307) of P.S. GRP Kanpur was accordingly registered.
(ii) At about 5 a.m. in the morning of 06.12.1993 an explosion took place in Rajdhani Express running from Howrah to New Delhi in Kanpur Division. However no major injury was suffered by anyone. This led to filing of FIR No.765 of 1993 (Ext. P 426) of P.S. GRP Allahabad which was later re-registered as FIR No.597 of 1993 of P.S. GRP Kanpur.
(iii) An explosion occurred at about 5:15 a.m. on 06.12.1993 in Rajdhani Express running from Mumbai Central to New Delhi near Kota Railway Station which caused injuries to five persons leading to registration of FIR No.174 of 1993 (Ext. P60) of P.S. GRP Kota.
(iv) At about 6 a.m. on 06.12.1993 an explosion took place in Flying Queen running from Surat Railway Station to Mumbai Central, near Bestan Railway Station causing injury to one person. This led to lodging of FIR No.132 of 1993 (Ext. P 150) of P.S. GRP Valsad.
(v) At about 7:05 a.m. on 06.12.1993 a bomb exploded in A.P. Express running from Hyderabad to Nizammudin. This explosion occurred in general compartment while the train was at Moula Ali Railway Station causing death of two persons. This led to registration of FIR No.251/1993 (Ext.D-63) of PS GRP Malkajgiri.
(vi) A device meant to cause explosion was detected by a watchful passenger in Bangalore Kurla Express while the train was near Karjat Railway Station. The device was thrown out of the Railway compartment and as such did not cause any damage. This incident led to registration of FIR No.91 of 1993 (Ext.D-162) of PS GRP Karjat.
3. All the aforesaid six crimes were registered against unknown persons. Out of the aforesaid six incidents, the explosion that occurred at Maula Ali Station in Hyderabad had caused death of two persons. PW 117 P. Chandrashekar Reddy, Superintendent of Police, Ranga Reddy Distt, on receiving information from Police Control Room reached the site at about 8:30 a.m. on 06.12.1993 and dictated proceedings Ext.P 450 later in the Police Station invoking provisions of TADA Act. Ext.P-450 was to the following effect:-
“PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUPRINTENDENT OF POLICE:- RANGA REDDY DIST. PRESENT: SRI. P. CHANDRA SEKHAR REDDY, IPS.,
No. 251/Camp/SP-RR/93 dated 06.12.1993
Sub:-Cr.No.251/93 of P.S. Malkajgiri
Sri P. Radha Krishna Rao, Sub-Inspector of Police, Malkajgiri P.S., sent the contents of the complaint given by Sri. Ahmed Hussain, which revealed the facts that attracts Section 3, 4 and 5 of TADA besides others Sections of Law. Having satisfied, I am permitting the S.I. to register the case U/s 3, 4 and 5 of TADA besides other Sections of Law.
Superintendent of Police,
Ranga Reddy District
Station House Officer, Malkajgiri P.S.
Copy to S.D. P.O Malkajgiri for inf.”
FIR No.251 of 1993 was therefore registered for offences punishable under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of TADA Act besides other provisions. Out of the aforesaid six FIR’s only FIR No.251 at 1993 of PS GRP Malkhajgiri was registered for offences under TADA while the provisions of TADA were not initially invoked in rest of the FIR’s.
4. Vide notifications dated 21.12.1993 and 28.12.1993 the crimes registered by first Five FIR’s, where the explosions had in fact occurred were transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”, for short) for investigation. The CBI thereafter re-registered the crimes as R.C. No.43(S) / 93 of CBI Lucknow, R.C. No.44 (S)/93 of CBI Lukcnow, R.C. No.37 (S)/93 of CBI Jaipur, RC 43(S)/93 of CBI Ahmedabad and RC No.32 (S)/ 93 of CBI Hyderabad against those registered under Serial No.(i) to (v) respectively of the preceding paragraph. PW 148 R.P. Kaushal was the Investigating Officer as regards both crimes registered at Lucknow. He was also the Investigating Officer regarding the crime registered at Jaipur but was later replaced by PW 150 P.D. Meena. PW 145 K S Nair was the Investigating Officer as regards the crime registered at Hyderabad. He was initially in charge of investigation regarding the crime registered at Ahmedabad as well, but was later replaced by PW 140 V.K. Bindal.
5. PW 145 K.S. Nair reached Ahmedabad on 28.12.1993 and sent a requisition on 29.12.1993 to the Director, FSL, Ahmedabad and received Report Ext. P-506 dated 30.12.1993. From reading of the documents and other case papers he found that the provisions of TADA Act were attracted to the case and therefore prepared Report dated 08.01.1994 seeking approval for adding provisions of TADA Act. He was however required to go to Hyderabad on 11.01.1994. While in Hyderabad, he came to know about arrest of A1 Dr. Jalees Ansari on 12.01.1994 in connection with Bombay Blast Case. He, therefore, went to Mumbai on 13.01.1994 and reached STF Office at 7:00 pm. From his interrogation, involvement of said A1 Dr. Jalees Ansari in the serial train blasts and that of A3 Habib Ahmed Khan and A4 M. Jamal Alvi was discovered.
6. On 13.01.1994 PW 62 H.C. Singh, SP, STF, CBI also came down to Mumbai from New Delhi and PW 145 K.S. Nair had discussion with him in the matter including the result of the interrogation of A1 Dr. Jalees Ansari. PW 145 K.S. Nair, who was carrying with him copy of the Report prepared by him on 08.01.1994, submitted it to PW 62 H.C. Singh, whereupon PW 62 H.C. Singh gave his approval for adding the provisions of TADA Act. This Report Ext. P-246 was to the following effect.
“Sub: Investigation of RC 43(S)/93-CBI/Ahmedabad Case RC 43(S)/93-CBI/Ahmedabad has been registered on 23.12.93 on transfer from the local police authorities u/s 307, 120-B IPC and Sec. 3,4,5 of Explosive Substances Act of 84, and Sec. 3(2) of the Prevention of Damage of Public Properties Act.
Facts in brief are that one bomb exploded in the flying queen train which left Surat Station at 5:30 AM of 6-12-93 for Bombay, in IInd class compartment No.7392(D-I) the train was bound for Bombay. The explosion took place exactly at 6.00 AM when the illfated train reached Bheistan Rly. Station. One person namely SH. Amish Piyushkar Shah aged about 23 years R/o Vanktash Appartment 7/A Ami Falia Surat, the attendant of the complainant Shy. Ramniklal Malukchand Shah Head Clerk, (Retd.), Rajkot Railway, had suffered head injuries on account of bomb explosion. The victim was seated in seat No.136 of D- 1 compartment whereas the explosive device was reportedly kept under the seat “Sadiq” for his journey from Surat to Bombay. Investigation revealed that the said suspect though reserved the seat but did not travel in this train. In all there were reservations for 11 passengers including the suspect and the victim in the said D-1 bogie.
The exhibits have been seized from the scene of occurrence by the local police authorities and sent to the Forensic Laboratory/Ahmedabad for expert opinion. The seized articles included iron nails, clock pieces and the pieces of Alfa luggage etc. These articles were examined by Sh.SM Darji, Asstt. Director, FSL/Ahmedabad and opined that Amonium and nitrate redicles, (redicles of ammonium nitrate) and the hydro carbons of petrolium oil mixture of high explosive were detected in the exhibits. Sh.B.P., Upadhayay,Asstt. Director/FSL after examining the articles seized from the scene of occurrence concluded that the bomb was kept in “Alfa luggage” with electronic clock machine needle etc. were used to ensure ‘delay mechanism’. Investigation also confirmed that the bomb exploded after halfan-hour run from Surat Station. Director/FSL informed that similar explosive devices had been planted in other running trains where similar bomb explosions had taken place on 06.12.1993. The expert opinion clearly indicates that the suspect/suspects had planted the explosive device which comes within the ambit of TADA and the facts reveals so far constitute offence punishable U/Ss 3, 4 & 5 of the TADA (P) Act also.
The sequential nature of the explosions which had occurred in 5 running trains simultaneously clearly indicates that there existed a deep rooted conspiracy to strike terror in the people to cause loss to lives and damage to public properties it is, necessary that Section 3, 4 & 5 of the TADA (P) Act for further investigation in this case. Copy of the expert opinions of FSL/Ahmedabad is attached for perusal.
CBI STF NEW DELHI
The facts revealed make out a case u/s 3 & 4 of TADA (P) Act. Inclusion of these Sections of law is approved. 1
Supdt. of Police
C.B.I. New Delhi”