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Abu Salem brought to Hyderabad in passport forgery case

By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
December 20, 2007 01:00 IST
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Underworld don Abu Salem, who is facing a criminal case for obtaining a passport under a fake name from the Hyderabad regional passport office, was brought to the city on Wednesday.

He was produced in the CBI special court, which remanded him to judicial custody at the Central Prison.

With a heavy police escort, Salem arrived in Hyderabad by a train from Mumbai at around noon. After taking him to Chanchalguda prison for sometime, the Hyderabad police later produced him before the CBI Special Court in the Nampally criminal courts complex.

The judge ordered him to be presented in the court at 10.30 am on Thursday.

According to the police, Abu Salem, through his agent, had secured passports for himself, his starlet companion Monica Bedi and his wife Sabeena Azmi from the regional passport officer in Hyderabad in September 2001.

He secured a passport in the name of Ramil Kamal Malik, affixing his own photograph and mentioning his year of birth as 1970. He also gave his residential address as House Number 17/107, RT Street in Kurnool town in Andhra Pradesh.

Monica was issued a passport in the name of Sana Malik Kamal, mentioning her residential address as H. No. 10/102 B, Babu Gounda Street, Kurnool, and her year of birth as 1974.

Similarly, Sabeena Azmi had also obtained a passport in the name of Neha Asif Jaffrey, by giving her residential address as H.No. 11/90, Osmania College Road, Kurnool and year of birth as 1975.

After Salem and Bedi were extradited from Portugal, Bedi was shifted to Hyderabad on November 12, 2005.

While trying the passport forgery case, the CBI had split the case against Bedi and Salem and Azmi. Subsequently, on September 29, 2006, Bedi was convicted for five years under Section 420 and for three years each under Sections 419 and 120 (B) of the IPC.

The CBI had produced 79 documents and submitted a list of 63 witnesses. In all, 38 witnesses were examined by the court.

On March 8, 2007, the AP high court had reduced Bedi's sentence to three years' imprisonment, considering her status and age, on an appeal filed by her.

Bedi was acquitted for lack of evidence in a similar case by the chief judicial magistrate's court in Bhopal on July 16, 2007.

She had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court for waiver of the remaining part of her sentence. She was granted bail pending the disposal of the case. She was released from the State Women's prison at Chanchalguda in Hyderabad on July 25, 2007. Bedi went to Delhi and later shifted to her native town Hoshiarpur.

Alongwith Bedi, three others were convicted in September 2006 in the passport forgery case in Hyderabad, while two others were acquitted.

S A Sattar, former assistant sub-inspector in Kurnool district crime records bureau, Mohammed Younis, former senior assistant in Kurnool mandal revenue office, and D Gokari Saheb, former postman in the speed-post wing of Kurnool head post office, were found guilty by the CBI special court, whereas Noor Mohammed, passport agent and G Srinivasa Rao, former typist in the district planning office at Kurnool were acquitted on grounds of lack of evidence.

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Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad