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'Ministers have time for Sanjay Dutt's parole, but not 75-year-old Zaibunnisa's'

Zaibunnisa Kazi's lawyer moves High Court to seek parole for the 75-year-old 1993 blasts convict; the plea has been pending with the home ministry for the past 10 weeks

The 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Zaibunnisa Kazi (75) moved the Bombay High Court yesterday in connection with her parole plea, which has been pending in Mantralaya for the past two months. Zaibunnisa’s advocate N N Gawankar said, “The ministers have time for Sanjay Dutt’s parole inquiry, but no time for Zaibunnisa, who is old, diabetic and suffering from so many other health problems.”

Zaibunnisa Kazi (75) has been sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment under the TADA Act. File pic
Zaibunnisa Kazi (75) has been sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment under the TADA Act. File pic

Her application had earlier been rejected by the police, after which she had appealed to the home ministry. Zaibunnisa’s daughter Shagufta claimed that the cops completely neglected the case of her mother, who has been seeking parole for the last two months on medical grounds.

Meanwhile, actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in the same case for illegal arms possession, has been released from Yerawada prison on parole, on the grounds of his wife’s ill health. Zaibunnisa has been sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, or TADA, while Dutt has been serving a sentence under the Arms Act. After a Supreme Court order last year, she surrendered on May 16. In August, she applied for parole, which was rejected by the police in September. She then made an appeal at the ministerial level.

‘Old and ailing’
Gawankar said, “The police report stated that Zaibunnisa would commit an offence again. She is 75 years old, and her mother is 90 years old. In fact, Zaibunnisa herself is suffering from so many health problems, for which she requires constant medical attention. There are so many other TADA accused, who have been given a negative report by the cops, but they have got parole from the ministerial level. In case of Dutt’s parole, too, the minister has asked for an inquiry by cops and everything was done. But, they just don’t have time to look into Zaibunnisa’s matter.”

He added, “For the last two months, our report is pending in Mantralaya, and no action has been taken till now, despite repeated applications. Therefore, we are moving the High Court. How will my client commit offence and escape, when she surrendered before the cops after the SC order?” Shagufta confirmed the action. “Yes, we are appealing to the court,” she said.

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