New Delhi: Extradited gangster Abu Salem, who is facing trial for allegedly demanding Rs five crore as protection money from a businessman here in 2002, was on Thursday granted bail by a Delhi court.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma allowed the bail plea of Salem on a personal bond of Rs one lakh with one surety of the like amount after considering that the other co-accused in the case are already out on bail.
"The main prosecution witnesses have already been examined in this case and only three police officials are to be examined now...In totality of facts and circumstances, accused Abu Salem is granted bail...," the judge said.
During the hearing on the bail plea, advocate M S Khan, appearing for Salem, told the court that his client is in judicial custody in connection with the extortion case since June 2007 and all the other co-accused have already been granted bail.
Salem, extradited from Portugal in November 2005, had last month filed the bail application before the court.
In his bail plea, Salem had said he has already been granted bail in two cases pending against him in separate courts in Delhi and due to his long "incarceration", he is entitled to get relief.
During the proceedings today, the court also recorded the statement of businessman Ashok Gupta, from whom Salem had allegedly demanded Rs five crore and had also threatened him, and his son Abhishek.
Gupta told the court he had received various extortion calls from Salem in April 2002 in which he had demanded Rs five crore from him and had also threatened that he would eliminate his family members if the demand was not fulfilled.
"On April 5, 2004, I again received a call from Abu Salem on my another phone on which the recorder was not installed. In these talks, Salem demanded Rs five crore and threatened me that in the event of non-fulfilment of this demand, my family will be eliminated," he told the judge.