Mumbai, July 11: Mumbai 1993 bomb blasts convict Abu Salem on Monday pleaded for a minimum punishment in a special TADA Court. Abu Salem cited cases where convicts in similar offences in the first leg of the 1993 blast trial, were given short jail terms. His lawyer, Sudeep Pasbola, told the court that other convicts who committed similar crimes were awarded a mere eight-year jail term. Pasbola told the court that Abu Salem was in prison since 2005 and now he should be set free.
Salem’s lawyer also told the court that going by the Portugal Extradition Treaty, the death penalty cannot be given to Salem. Pasbola said that Salem cannot also be sentenced in the prison for more than 25 years. A special TADA court was hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment of Salem on Monday. Abu Salem’s lawyer said that the prosecution, court and government have treated his client unfairly and the period of Salem’s arrest should now be counted from the day he was detained in Portugal. He told the court not to count his arrest since the time he was extradited and arrested here in India, reported Mumbai Mirror.
Pasbola said, “The CBI first submitted that they are asking for extreme sentence, later it submitted that its hands are tied and that the court cannot give death.” On the other hand, Deepak Salvi, the special public prosecutor, emphasized that Salem deserved nothing but death penalty for transporting a car full of ammunition from Bharuch to Mumbai. Salvi argued with the prosecution’s sentencing and said that Salem was constrained by Section 34 (c) of the Indian Extradition Act. Deepak Salvi had termed Salem as one of the key conspirators of the 1993 blasts. (ALSO READ: 1993 Mumbai blasts: Convict Firoz Khan pleads for life, says want to live for kids)
Last month, six persons were held guilty for the 1993 Mumbai blasts by the court. They were Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Taher Merchant, Riyaz Siddiqui, and Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan. They were held guilty by the court of Judge GA Sanap. Dossa, Khan, and Merchant are going to face the death penalty.