"Don't Lecture Judiciary": Supreme Court To Centre Over Abu Salem Plea [21.4.2022]

The Supreme Court's remark came on the Home Ministry's affidavit that said "it is not the appropriate time" for the government to take a call and that the Supreme Court may decide on the case involving Abu Salem.

New Delhi, 21.4.2022, Thursday

New Delhi: 

On gangster Abu Salem's petition against his jail sentence exceeding 25 years, the Supreme Court today used stern words while rejecting the Union Home Ministry's stance that the plea is premature. The Supreme Court also objected to the Centre asking it to decide on the case.

"Don't lecture the judiciary. We do not take it kindly when you tell us to decide something which you have to decide," Justice SK Kaul told the Home Ministry.

"The Home Secretary is nobody to tell us to decide the issue," the judge said.

The Supreme Court also said the centre must be unequivocal in what they want to say. "We do not like sentences in the Home Ministry affidavit like 'we will take a decision at an appropriate time'," said the judges.

The Home Ministry, in its affidavit, had said "it is not the appropriate time" for the government to take a call on Abu Salem's case and that the Supreme Court may decide.

Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh were hearing a petition by Abu Salem, a convict in the 1993 Bombay blast case, that India had guaranteed to Portugal courts that his jail sentence cannot exceed 25 years.

On Tuesday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla told the Supreme Court that the government was bound by the assurance given by then deputy Prime Minister LK Advani to the Portugal government that any sentence handed out to Abu Salem will not exceed 25 years.

Mr Bhalla said the assurance would come into effect after the 25-year period ended on November 10, 2030.

22 Apr 2022