1993 blasts: Centre bound to release Salem on completion of sentence, says SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said the Centre is bound to honour its commitment given to Portugal and release gangster Abu Salem on completion of his 25-year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

Salem had said his sentence could not exceed 25 years as per a solemn assurance given by India to Portugal for his extradition in 2002.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said the Central government is bound to advise the President of India for exercise of power under Article 72 of the Constitution and the national commitment on completion of his sentence.

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“The necessary papers be forwarded within a month of completion of 25 years. In fact, the government can itself exercise the power of remission under CrPC within the time period of one month upon completion of 25 years,” the bench said.

On February 25, 2015, a special TADA court had awarded life imprisonment to Salem in another case for murdering Mumbai-based builder Pradeep Jain in 1995 along with his driver Mehndi Hassan.

Salem, also a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was extradited from Portugal on November 11, 2005, after a prolonged legal battle.

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