The Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) Court may have announced life sentence for Abu Salem in the 1993 Mumbai bomb serial blasts case but the gangster is now pushing for his early release.
Salem is set to fight for early release with the European Court of Human Rights.
Abu Salem was given life sentence instead of a death penalty and here is the reason for it. In February 2004, a Portugal court cleared his extradition to India to face trial in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. In November 2005, Portuguese authorities handed him over to India on the assurance by the Government of India that the death penalty would not be handed out. When Salem was in Lisbon fighting India's extradition attempt, the only proof that he was indeed Salem was provided by the fingerprint and photographs taken after his arrest in 1991. Monica Bedi was also extradited to India and later convicted of passport forgery in 2006 and served her imprisonment but she was not involved in any of the business which belongs to Abu Salem.
Salem is set to send another application with Thursday’s order. He had earlier claimed that the treaty was violated when he was convicted and sentenced in 2015, in connection with 1995 Pradeep Jain murder case.
In a report by Hindustan Times, the defence claimed Salem cannot be awarded a sentence of more than 25 years as per the extradition agreement and his sentence to imprisonment for life is one of the violations. Sudeep Pasbola, lawyer for Salem on extradition, told the national daily, "The Indian government has breached several conditions of the extradition orders passed by the government of Portugal while allowing India’s request to extradite Abu Salem. The most important is that he has been convicted and tried for several new cases, new charges and also on the basis of new evidence that was not mentioned in the extradition order."
A series of 12 well-timed bombs ripped through iconic, commercial and crowded spots across the city on March 12, 1993, between 1.29 pm and 3.40 pm – a day often dubbed Black Friday. In addition to the numerous dead and injured, the dastardly attacks destroyed property worth Rs 27 crore. In the first leg of the trial, that concluded in 2007, the court convicted 100 accused and acquitted 23.
The prosecution had sought apex punishment for Merchant, Karimulla, Feroze and Salem but the court only gave Merchant and Feroze the death penalty, while the other two got life imprisonment. Salem and Karimulla have also been fined Rs 2 lakh each.
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