MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today disposed of an appeal filed by Maharashtra government against a ruling of a special TADA Court which had reversed the order of a top official to shift the gangster Abu Salem from Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai to Thane jail.
The appeal was disposed by a bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai which said the TADA court order had become infructuous in view of the underworld don being convicted last week for the murder of builder Pradeep Jain.
Salem's sentencing in the 1995 murder case is slated for tomorrow.
Public Prosecutor informed the HC that Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in 2005, had been convicted a few days back in this case and hence the government would follow the prison manual rules regarding his stay in jail.
As per manual rules, it is the sole discretion of the state to lodge a convict in any jail it deems fit.
Before conviction, Salem was in judicial custody of the TADA court in the murder case and lodged in Taloja prison.
Meera Borwankar, Additional DGP (Prisons), recently transferred Salem from Taloja to Thane jail. She relied on a letter by Portuguese government and also a report of Special Investigation Team of the police, both of which said there was a threat to his life in Taloja jail.
Salem, however, moved the TADA court, opposing the transfer saying the threat to his life was greater in other prisons.
His lawyer pointed out that the transfer order was issued without the court's permission. As Salem was in judicial custody in the Jain murder case, the TADA court passed a verdict reversing the transfer order.
The extradited gangster is also an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
Salem faced threat from a fellow serial blasts accused, Mustafa Dossa, and fugitive gangster Chotta Shakeel, his lawyer had said.
An inmate of Taloja jail had attacked Salem in 2013 but he escaped with a minor injury.