The designated special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court on Monday rejected an application filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stating they want to re-examine 684 witnesses, who had deposed in the marathon 1993 serial bomb blasts trial, for the trial against extradited gangster Abu Salem.
CBI had filed the application in the court after the Supreme Court ordered that confession of co-accused cannot be used against the absconding accused and the prosecution cannot rely on the evidence recorded by the designated court in the earlier trial against the accused who was missing during trial.
However, the defence had strongly objected to the application, saying that if so many witnesses were called the trial would be delayed. The defence’s argument was accepted. However, under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, the prosecution can rely on the testimony given by the witness in the separated trial if the witness is dead or difficult to trace.
Salem was extradited in November 2005 from Portugal to face eight cases in India, out of which three — 1993 blast case, Pradeep Jain murder case and Ajit Dewani murder case — are in Mumbai. Salem has already been discharged from Dewani murder case, and the Jain murder case is on stage of arguments.