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Abu Salem’s judicial custody extended till Feb 4


Hyderabad : A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here Thursday extended underworld don Abu Salem’s judicial custody till Feb 4 in a fake passport case.

Salem, who faces charges in several cases, including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was brought from Mumbai and produced before the judge in the Nampally Criminal Court complex here under tight security arrangements.

The court Dec 20 had remanded him to judicial custody for two weeks, which expired Thursday.

The judge extended Salem’s judicial custody till Feb 4 and adjourned the hearing till that date. Later, Salem was taken back to Mumbai.

In a brief chat with newsmen at railway station, Salem said he had nothing to do with the fake passport. “I have no knowledge of this. I had not obtained any passport,” he said.

When asked about his girlfriend and starlet Monica Bedi, Salem said he wished that she lived a happy life. He said he had no objection to Monica resuming her acting career. “It is good thing. Everyone has a right to live a life of his own choice,” he said.

The fake passport case against Salem here dates back to 2001. He and Monica were charged with acquiring passports under fictitious names in 2001 by furnishing a false residential address at Kurnool town, in Andhra Pradesh.

Salem and Monica, who acted in a few Hindi and Telugu films, were arrested in Lisbon in 2002. After a long process, they were extradited in 2005. While Salem was lodged in the Mumbai jail, Monica was brought to Hyderabad for trial in the fake passport case.

After spending five years behind bars in Portugal and India, Monica walked free July 25, 2007 after the court granted her bail.

In May 2007, the Supreme Court granted her bail in the fake passport case but she could not be released due to a similar case pending against her in Bhopal. She was brought back here in July after the Bhopal court acquitted her in the case.

During the hearing, Monica had denied that she married Salem during their stay abroad.