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Abu Salem Case: Supreme Court tells Centre to honour promise made to Portugal

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The Supreme Court on Monday has ordered the Central Government to honour the commitment given by it to the Portuguese Government and ordered release of gangster Abu Salem on his completing his 25-year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

India had guaranteed Portugal that the Abu Salem would not be sentenced beyond 25 years while requesting his extradition in 2002.

The bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh said the Central government should come forward and advise the President of India to exercise his power under Article 72 of the Constitution and the national commitment on completion of his sentence.

The court order says that the necessary papers should be forwarded within a month of completion of 25 years.

The court also said that the government can itself exercise the power of remission under CrPC within the time period of one month upon completion of 25 years.

A special TADA court on February 25, had awarded life imprisonment to Salem in another case for murdering Mumbai-based builder Pradeep Jain in 1995 along with his driver Mehndi Hassan.

Abu Salem is a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and was extradited from Portugal on November 11, 2005, after a prolonged legal battle.

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