The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Maharashtra government and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a petition filed by gangster Abu Salem challenging the separation of his trial from the other accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
A bench of judges KG Balakrishnan and DK Jain issued the notice after hearing senior counsel, KTS Tulsi for the petitioner, who contended that the Indian government was violating the undertaking it had given to the government of Portugal at the time of Salem's extradition from that country November 11, 2005.
According to Salem, the Indian government had undertaken not to try him for offences punishable with life imprisonment or death sentence. He contended that he was not to be sentenced for more than 25 years, if convicted for the offences mentioned in the application filed by the CBI.
Tulsi said if his trial was separated then the statements of confession made by the accused and statements of approver recorded by the trial court would not be available for his defence.
A close scrutiny of the evidence would clearly exonerate him from the charges for which he had been extradited from Portugal, Salem said and pleaded for quashing the order on separation of trial.