Abu Salem Awaits India's Reply in European Court Against 'Illegal' Trial
Abu Salem, convicted for his role in the deadly 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, now awaits a reply by India in a European Union court he had approached three months ago.
File photo of Abu Salem/Reuters
Mumbai: Abu Salem, convicted for his role in the deadly 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, now awaits a reply by India in a European Union court he had approached three months ago.
In his petition, the gangster had sought his return to Portugal from where he was extradited to India to face the trial. He has contended that after a Portugal court terminated the 2014 order for his extradition, his entire trial in India has become “illegal”.
Salem’s extradition treaty had stated that he will not be given death sentence and will not be given imprisonment of more than 25 years. Salem had moved a Portugal court soon after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Mumbai-based builder Pradeep Jain. The local court in Portugal had upheld his appeal, following which the matter went to the country’s supreme court. The case is still pending there.
"After the petition was filed, notices were issued to the Portugal government and to the Indian government. The Portugal government has already filed a reply. Some additional documents are yet to be submitted. The Indian government is yet to file its reply," Sudeep Pasbola, one of the lawyers representing Salem, told CNN-News18.
His lawyers had said despite termination of the extradition, Portugal has not taken any steps to call him back.
In May, the ECHR had also sought some documents of the 1993 Mumbai serial terror blasts case.
In his application, Salem had also given details of two attempts on his life — one in 2010 by co-accused in 1993 blasts case Mustafa Dossa and a second one by another prisoner.
Salem further contended that he is being tried for those charges which were not mentioned in the treaty.
He said that in Taloja jail, he is being kept in a solitary confinement which is prohibited by ECHR.
Salem was convicted by a special TADA court in Mumbai last week for transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai ahead of the 1993 blasts which killed 257 people. He had also handed over to Sanjay Dutt AK-56 rifles, 250 rounds and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993. Two days later on January 18, 1993 Salem and two others went to Dutt's house and got back two rifles and some rounds.
The court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the CBI moved a plea, saying those charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.
Justice (retired) PD Kode, however, told CNN-News18 that nothing stops the TADA court from awarding the death penalty to Abu Salem, “not even the assurances given to Portugal”.
The hearing on the quantum of punishment will be held on June 19.
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