(1.)No religion propagates terrorism or hatred. Love for all is the basic foundation on which almost all religions are founded. Unfortunately, some fanatics who have distorted views of religion spread messages of terror and hatred. They do not understand and realize what amount of damage they do to the society. Sometimes people belonging to their community or religion also become victims. As a result of these fanatic acts of some misguided people, innocent lives are lost, distrust in the minds of communities replaces love and affection for others. The devastating effect of such dastardly acts is the matrix on which the present case to which these appeals relate rests. On 16th March, 1993, just before the stroke of mid-night, people in and around B. B. Ganguly street in the bow Bazar area of Calcutta heard deafening sounds emanating from thundering explosions which resulted in total demolition of a building and partial demolition of two other adjacent buildings situated at 267, 266 and 268a, B. B. Ganguly street. Large number of people were trapped in and buried under the demolished buildings. It was indeed a very ghastly sight and large number of people died because of the explosions' impact and/or on account of the falling debris. Human limbs were found scattered all around the area. Those who survived tried to rescue the unfortunate victims. Police officers arrived at the spot immediately. The first information report was lodged at Bow Bazar police station for alleged commission of offences punishable under sections 120b, 436, 302, 307, 326 of the Indian Penal code, 1860 (in short 'the IPC') and sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances act, 1908 (in short 'the Explosive Act').
(2.)Considering the seriousness and gravity of the incident, the commissioner of police set up a special investigating team. On investigation, 8 persons including the six appellants were found linked with the commission of offences. Arrests were made. While rescue operations were on, there was further explosion on 18.3.1993. The exploded bomb was handed over to the police officer after its examination on the spot by a military officer. Meanwhile, the pay loader picked up a gunny bag containing 22 live bombs. Afterwards, they were defused after examination. Certain materials were seized by the investigating team from the site of the occurrence and on examination, it was found that nitroglycerin explosives were involved in the explosion. Large number of witnesses were examined.
(3.)Two of the accused persons, Pannalal jaysoara (accused-appellant in criminal appeal no. 299/2002) and Mohd. Gulzar (accused-appellant in criminal appeal no. 494/2002) were arrested on 29.3.1993 and 13.5.1993 respectively. As they wanted to make their confessions, those were to be recorded before the judicial magistrate. Accordingly, their confessional statements were recorded by the magistrates (PWs. 81 and 82). Some of the accused persons were also identified by witnesses in the test identification parade. On 11.6.1993, the commissioner of police on examination of the case diary, statement of witnesses, reports of the experts and confessional statements came to the conclusion that provisions of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) act, 1987 (in short "the TADA Act') were applicable. Accordingly, sanction was accorded for prosecution of the accused persons under the said statute. Charge sheet was submitted on 14.6.1993.