A special National Investigation Team (NIA) court on Friday rejected the bail application of Mumbai-based businessman Birju Salla, who has been lodged at Sabarmati Central Jail, for allegedly planting a hijack threat note on a Mumbai-Delhi flight. Salla has been behind bars since his arrest on October 30, 2017, the day he made the false hijack scare in the plane.
The Special Judge K M Dave rejected the bail application on the ground that there were serious charges against the accused. The NIA in its investigation had found that Salla had planted the note of hijack in a “planned manner” and the preparation of his plan was captured in CCTV footage at his own office in Mumbai.
On October 30, the NIA has alleged in the chargesheet, Salla had typed out the threat on his laptop at his Mumbai office and got a printout from the office printer. The chargesheet alleged that he went to the cabin where the office printer was kept and asked an office assistant to bring the laptop from his cabin. The chargesheet stated, “He adjusted the setting of the printer, put (on) gloves in both hands, took the printout of the ‘threat note’ and folded it. He removed the gloves, closed the text editor on his laptop, picked up the folded ‘threat note’ with the gloves and returned to his cabin..In his cabin, he again wore the gloves and kept the ‘threat note’ in a small plastic pouch.” Later, he put this note in the tissue paper box in the plane’s toilet while travelling first-class on a Jet Airways Mumbai-Delhi flight,
Salla has been booked under Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016 (amended), the first case in the country. The chargesheet says Salla was married and has two sons. “For the last two years, the accused Birju Salla, however, had an affair with one lady [name withheld].who is working as a guest relationship manager with the private airline,” the chargesheet states.
Salla had claimed that he wanted her to quit but she refused and that’s why he thought of the whole plan. However, the woman has told the NIA that Salla never advised her to leave her job. “He never discussed with me about opening any airline or giving me any job opportunity in any other company. We have never had any disputes,” the woman told the NIA.