Supreme Court asks Centre to consider if Abu Salem's life imprisonment by TADA Court is violative of assurance given to Portugal

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A Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundaresh today asked the central government to consider Bombay blast convict Abu Salem’s submission that his imprisonment cannot extend beyond 25 years as per the assurances given by the government of India to Portugal during his extradition. 

According to Adv. Rishi Malhotra, appearing for Salem, the judgment of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) Court granting life imprisonment to Salem is against the assurance given by India to Portugal. Even though the TADA Court had held that it was not bound by the assurances of the government, he submitted that the Supreme Court has the power to rule on the same.

Malhotra submitted that Salem was detained in Portugal in 2002 and that his sentencing should be considered from that date and not from 2005, when he was handed over to Indian authorities.

The Court on hearing the counsel directed the Centre that the suggestions on Salem’s behalf are fair and that the Centre should consider the same and file an affidavit in a period of four weeks.

On September 18, 2002 Abu Salem Abdul Kayyum Ansari and  Monika Bedi were arrested in Portugal. They were extradited and brought to India. The extradition was granted for Salem in respect of Pradeep Jain murder case, Bombay Bomb blast case and Ajit Diwani murder case.

On November 11, 2005, as soon as Salem was brought to India, he was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Bombay bomb blast case and later on was taken into custody by the Anti-Terrorist Squad, Mumbai in connection with the Pradeep Jain murder case. Salem was granted life imprisonment by the TADA court.

Cause Title: Abu Salem Abdul Kayyum Ansari vs State of Maharashtra