A special TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act] court in Mumbai barred the Navi Mumbai police on Wednesday from handcuffing gangster Abu Salem while bringing him to court. The court, while allowing Salem's application challenging handcuffing, observed that he was not a super human to flee from such tight security.
The court had, during the final arguments, rapped the police for handcuffing him, scoffing at their apprehension that he might flee from the court premises.
On Wednesday, while passing the order, the judge observed that Salem was escorted by one police inspector, eight constables and two policemen armed with AK-56. He said all other policemen too carry arms and sophisticated weaponry.
“If reports are considered at face value, it appears that ten officers deployed to escort Salem to court are either not capable of taking care of the accused or the accused is a powerful superhuman that he would manage to run away despite heavy deployment,” Justice G.A. Sanap said.
He also came down heavily on the escort party for mingling with Salem and getting “over-friendly” with him. “If they grant such concessions and opportunities, the accused is bound to take advantage,” he said.
The Salem trial has international ramifications as the gangster was extradited from Portugal after India signed a treaty with it in the year 2005. The court observed that Salem had not shown any misconduct or indiscipline during the entire period of trial.
Justice Sanap said that the police should bring any specific intelligence about the fear of the gangster fleeing from custody, on record. Even during the final hearing, he had questioned the authenticity of the intelligence reports. He had asked why the intelligence about such a grave matter was not in writing.