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The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Centre must uphold its commitment to Portugal and release the gangster upon completion of his 25-year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

Salem had argued that his sentence could not exceed 25 years, as per India’s solemn assurance to Portugal for his extradition in 2002.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh stated that the Central government is obligated to advise the President of India to exercise power under Article 72 of the Constitution and honor the national commitment upon completion of his sentence.

The bench also emphasized that the necessary papers should be forwarded within a month of the completion of 25 years, and that the government can itself exercise the power of remission under CrPC within that time frame.

On February 25, 2015, a special court had sentenced Salem to life imprisonment in another case for the murder of a builder named Pradeep Jain in 1995, along with his driver Mehndi Hassan.

Salem, who is also a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was extradited from Portugal on November 11, 2005, following a lengthy legal battle.

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