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HC defers Abu Salem's petition to Aug 16

Source: PTI
August 14, 2006 17:58 IST
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The Bombay high court on Monday deferred till August 16 a petition filed by 1993 serial bomb blast accused Abu Salem challenging a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court's order to separate his trial from other accused.

Salem's lawyer Ashok Sarogi mentioned the matter before a Bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai, which posted the petition for hearing before Justice J N Patel and Justice Roshan Dalvi on August 16.

Salem is facing the charge of distributing arms and ammunition to co-accused, including actor Sanjay Dutt, in furtherance to the conspiracy allegedly hatched by Dawood Ibrahim and his men which led to the series of bomb blasts on March 12, 1993.

In the trial court, the designated TADA Judge P D Kode has already started dictating the verdict and would pronounce the order on September 12.

Salem contended in the high court that separating his trial in the bomb blasts case from other accused would violate the agreement between Portugal and Indian governments under which he was extradited in 2005.

He contended that according to extradition conditions, he was to stand the ongoing trial and not a fresh one.

Salem is one of the 123 accused in the 1993 bomb blasts case.

In the trial court earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation asked the designated TADA Judge Pramod Kode to separate the trial of Salem and his associate Riyaz Siddiqi (who was also arrested recently) from the other accused, otherwise the entire trial would be delayed.

The TADA judge accepted the CBI plea and ordered separation of their trial on June 13.

Although Salem had urged the high court to stay the TADA court order, he has not been granted such relief so far.

Salem, in his petition in the high court, has also alleged some other violations of the extradition agreement.

One of his contentions is that as per the agreement, he was to be sent back to India for standing trial, not for interrogation and fresh probe.

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