Mumbai, Sep 7: A special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) Court today awarded life imprisonment to Abu Salem in the 1993 Bombay blasts case. Abu Salem, one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, was found guilty of transporting the weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai. But why Abu Salem wasn’t given death sentence in the 1993 Bombay blasts case?
Abu Salem was arrested in Lisbon, Portugal along with his then girlfriend and former actress Monica Bedi on September 20 in 2002. After two years, a Portugal court cleared his extradition to India, to face trial in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, and handed him on the condition that death sentence or imprisonment beyond 25 years would not be handed out to him. The extradition treaty was signed between the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva.
Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam confirmed that owing to an extradition treaty between Portugal and India, Salem cannot be given death or a jail term of more than 25 years.
Out of the 25 years, Salem has already completed 12. Both Salvi and Nikam claimed that it is now up to the Indian government to commute Salem’s term to 25 years. If the jail sentence is commuted to 25 years then Salem will spend 13 more years in jail as he has already been in prison for 12 years.
In 2015, Salem had escaped it in a murder case of builder Pradeep Jain. The judge had then observed that the issue is “very ticklish” and the “pride and prestige of our country are involved”.
“Therefore, if any decision is taken contrary to the spirit of the Indian laws, and also contrary to the spirit of the solemn sovereign assurance given by the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and understood by the Supreme court of Justice, Portugal in its judgment dated 27/01/2005, then very serious repercussions could follow,” the judge had observed, reported the Hindustan Times.
On March 12, 1993, 13 bomb explosions rocked the city of Mumbai. The first explosion went off at 1:30 PM in the basement of the 28-storey Bombay Stock Exchange building. In next two hours, a total of 13 bombs exploded across Mumbai.