court rejects Abu Salem’s plea after CBI opposition

Staff Reporter


MUMBAI: Special TADA court rejected extradited gangster Abu Salem’s plea for closure of cases against him on Tuesday. The rejection came after the Central bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Tuesday, opposed the underworld Don’s plea to close the trial against him as Portugal’s Supreme court cancelled his extradition.

Portugal’s Supreme Court recently upheld an order of Court of Appeal in Lisbon which on Salem’s petition had cancelled his extradition holding that there was breach of deportation rules by slapping new charges on Salem under MCOCA, which attracted death penalty. Following the Portuguese court order, Salem had moved the TADA Court seeking closure of the trial against him arguing that continuing with the trial would be illegal since the Portuguese Supreme Court had cancelled his extradition.

The CBI said that it had challenged the order of Portugal Supreme Court in the Constitutional Court, hence the trial of Salem in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case should go on. CBI said that extradition was a matter which needed to be sorted out between the governments of the two countries but the trail should not stop. “We are governed by the Supreme Court of India… the trial against Salem can’t be halted and the case will continue. As far as the extradition is concerned, the matter is meant to be resolved diplomatically by the two countries,” CBI’s lawyer said.

The CBI has also moved Portugal’s Constitutional Court against the Supreme Court’s recent ruling confirming the decision to terminate the extradition of Salem in 2005 to face trial in various cases. “We have challenged the order of Portugal Supreme Court, which had cancelled Abu Salem’s extradition, in the Constitutional Court of Portugal. (Hence), the trial of Salem in 1993 serial bomb blasts case should go on,” the Central agency told the Special TADA Court here.

Salem was arrested in Lisbon in 2002 along with his girlfriend, actor Monica Bedi, for travelling with fake passports.  He was extradited from Portugal in 2005 after the Indian government gave an assurance that he would not be awarded the death penalty or charged with any section of the law which entailed jail for more than 25 years. (eom)


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