SC sets aside Abu Salem's petition

SC sets aside Abu Salem's petition

In concurring but two separate judgments, Justices P Sathasivam and Asok Kumar Ganguly said, “The offences with which the appellant has been additionally charged are lesser than the offences for which he has been extradited.’’

The additional charges were under Section 302 IPC (murder) and various other offences under TADA for which the extradition was obtained, the court said. Therefore, it was not in violation of the 2005 extradition accord between India and Portugal, when the government of India gave the undertaking that he would not be given death penalty and also not be handed over to any third country, the court said.

Salem had challenged an August 24, 2009, order of the Mumbai trial court that said he can be tried for other offences such as murder (Section 302) and criminal conspiracy (120 B) of the IPC, besides those under the TADA in connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The court had also granted him an opportunity to submit a list of witnesses for cross examination during the main trial in the 1993 serial bomb blast cases.

Salem’s plea was that the order went against the undertaking given by the previous NDA government to Portugal during his extradition and promises by former deputy prime minister L K Advani and Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah that he would not be awarded death penalty.

During the arguments, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium submitted that Salem’s apprehension of being awarded death penalty over the additional charges was “preposterous”, as the trial was yet to conclude.

Subramanium said the two countries were signatories to the international convention on elimination of terrorism.

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