CBI opposes Abu Salem's plea on deposition of witness

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Mumbai, Apr 28 (UNI) The CBI today strongly opposed the plea of extradited gangster Abu Salem, who had earlier challenged the deposition of one of the witnesses--a public relation officer in the passport office at Lucknow, in the separate 1993 serial bomb blasts trial case.

While opposing the plea before designated TADA judge P D Kode, CBI prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam argued that as per the Indian Evidences Act, the deposition of the witness in the case was a must as it was relevant to the trial.

Mr Nikam said though the passport was issued to Salem after the blasts in 1993 get he had applied for the same prior to the blasts, which he had admitted in his confessional statement to CBI after his arrest.

On April 25, Salem had moved the plea, through his lawyer Sudeep Pasbola, stating that the deposition of the witness was irrelevant to the case as passport was issued to him after the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.

Earlier, when CBI wanted the witness to be examined by the court, Salem had raised objection to it, following which his deposition was deferred till today.

Salem, who was extradited from Portugal on November 11, 2005, is facing charges under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act for his involvement in the blasts and also for his role in supplying deadly arms and ammunition to the various accused, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was earlier convicted by the court and released on bail by the apex court.

Dutt, in his confessional statement, had stated that Salem and his associates delivered the weapons to him at his residence.

The prosecution is relying on Dutt's confessional statement and the same will be used against Salem as a vital piece of evidence.

TADA court, while taking on record the submission made by CBI, adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.

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