The Bombay High Court on Tuesday deferred till August 14 a petition filed by 1993 serial bomb blast accused Abu Salem challenging a TADA court's order to separate his trial from other accused.
In view of this development can the designated TADA court go ahead to deliver the verdict on August 10 is a question that is haunting the minds of lawyers and legal circles, sources said.
The designated TADA Judge PD Kode has already announced that he would start dictating the order on August 10. However, in view of High Court adjourning Salem's petition for joining him in the trial with other accused all eyes are set on TADA court with lawyers debating whether it could pass the verdict.
Salem contended 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 last year.
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 1993 bomb blasts case.
Earlier, last month, CBI urged 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 trial on June 13. In the main trial, Judge Kode will begin to deliver the judgement from August 10.
Salem, in his petition in 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 trials, not for interrogation and fresh probe.