Salim Sheikh, while recording his statement on the quantum of punishment, further claimed he had brought this to the notice of then TADA judge J N Patel who, had summoned officials from the passport office and police tasked with verification of passport applicants.
Alleging he has been falsely implicated in the blasts case, Salim said he was ready to undergo life imprisionment if found guilty, failing which he should be released to rebuld his life after 13 years in jail for a crime he never commited.
He said while lodged in the Arthur Road jail, he was once taken out by police for interrogation in connection with the conspircy charge of attempt on life of Mr Patel and it was then police had photographed him. It was quite possible police had then allegedly procured a passport in his name to implicate him in the case, he alleged.
Asked by presiding designated judge Pramod Kode as to why his counsel did not bring all this to the notice of the court during trial, Salim said his lawyer did not represent him properly.
Salim, who was also found guilty of the charge of having lobbed hand grenades at the fishermen colony at Mahim, repeatedly broke down while recording his statement.
Pleading his innocence, he requested his release , saying he had already spent over 13 years in jail. He said after his arrest, his wife deserted him, leaving him with the responsibility of bringing up two children who, he added, are living separately with his two relatives.
Salim, in his forties, said he lost his mother when he was a child and his father married another woman. He said he was brought up by his maternal grand mother and an aunt. He said he lost his maternal grand mother in riots which rocked the city in 1992-93 in the aftermath of demolition of Babri masjid, adding her house was also looted by the mob before she was killed and burnt at Mahim.
He alleged he was ill-treated during custody at Mahim police station where he was forced to eat human excreta.
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