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Underworld gangster Abu Salem required to be in prison for 60 years, CBI tells court

Jail authorities cited a guideline where the prison is to initiate review for remission of a life convict, after he or she completes 12 years in prison. Salem has completed 12 years in jail.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2018 09:22 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Abu Salem,Underworld gangster,Taloja jail
A file photo of gangster Abu Salem being taken to jail after a Mumbai court sentenced him life imprisonment in the Pradeep Jain murder case in 2015. (PTI File Photo)

Underworld gangster Abu Salem is required to remain in prison for 60 years, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told a special court through special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi. The statement was made after Taloja jail authorities sought the opinion of the court — set up to try cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) — on remission of the sentence awarded to Salem.

Jail authorities cited an eight-year-old guideline issued by the state government in March 2010, where prison authorities were supposed to initiate the process of review for remission of a convict awarded the life sentence, after he or she completes 12 years in prison. The superintendent of Taloja had moved the application on December 12, 2017, after Salem completed 12 years and 11 months in the jail.

Special TADA judge GA Sanap had asked the CBI to file a reply to the issue raised by jail authorities. The CBI, in its reply, stated Salem was convicted for life for the murder of builder Pradeep Jain, and was given the same sentence in the 1993 serial blasts case. The TADA court also had sentenced Salem to 25 years in prison for being part of a larger conspiracy behind the 1993 serials blasts case.

Salvi, on Monday, filed a reply to the letter that said according to the same guidelines issued by the state government on March 2010, Salem is required to undergo imprisonment for 60 years.

The letter further quoted a Supreme Court judgment where it categorically stated that ‘life imprisonment cannot be equivalent to imprisonment for 14 years or 20 years or even 30 years, rather it always means the whole natural life.’

The agency, in its reply, also said, ‘it is pertinent to note that the accused Abu Salem is extradited to India from Portugal, and during extradition, the government of India has given assurance of punishment as per provisions of the Extradition Act.’ As per the extradition condition, Salem cannot be kept behind bars for more than 25 years.

The agency has asked the court to consider the guidelines of the state government, order of the apex court on terms of life imprisonment along with the undertaking given by the Indian government while extraditing Salem.

Meanwhile, the superintendent of Central Prison, Kolhapur, too, approached the court for its opinion of remission of three convicts who were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court for their roles in the 1993 serial blasts. The three accused are Mohammed Rafiq Usman Shaikh, Uttam Potdar and Munna alias Mohammed Ali Khan alias Manojkumar Bhavarlal Gupta.

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 22:45 IST