Cops get more time to reply to Abu Salem`s plea to stop his trial

A Mumbai court had framed charges against him in the 1993 bombing case, which Abu Salem had challenged.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has been given yet more time by a court here to reply to extradited underworld don Abu Salem`s plea to stop his trial in an extortion case after cancellation of his extradition to India by a Portuguese constitutional court.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidya Prakash gave the Special Cell of Delhi police time till October 6 to respond to Salem`s plea on its request for more time on the ground that it was yet to receive any official communication on Portuguese constitutional court`s order cancelling his extradition.

The police told the court that the investigating officer of the case has written to the CBI and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking the Portuguese court`s order and their comments are awaited.

Salem`s counsel MS Khan, however, said the police was merely trying to "misinform the court and cause delays."

Salem had originally moved the court for stopping his trial in the extortion case on August 4, saying "continuation of his trial after termination of the authorisation granted for his extradition is against the law, justice and without jurisdiction."

The court had first asked police to respond by August 28, then by September 7 and now by October 6 to Salem`s plea.

Salem`s counsel Khan had submitted that his client had been extradited in 2005 by the Indian government from Portugal where he was arrested in 2002 and according to the extradition agreement, Salem could not be charged with offences entailing life imprisonment or death sentence.

India wanted Salem in connection with eight cases, including the 1993 Mumbai serial bombing case, two cases of Passport Act violation besides two of murder and three of extortion, one of which is pending before the CMM court here.

A Mumbai court had framed charges against him in the 1993 bombing case, which Salem had challenged alleging that some of the charges framed against him breached his extradition conditions.

Salem had filed a petition in the high court of Lisbon alleging he had been charged with offences in India for which his extradition was not permitted.

The high court had allowed his petition, ruling that his extradition conditions had been violated and cancelled his extradition to India in September 2011.

Against the order of the High Court of Lisbon, India moved the Supreme Court of Justice, which rejected its appeal in January 2012.

Khan also told the CMM`s court that an appeal filed by India in the Constitutional Court, Portugal, against the order of the Supreme Court of Justice was also rejected on July 5, 2012.

He said "Salem could not be tried as his trial was subject matter of the order of extradition which was terminated on the violation of the Principles of Speciality."

Salem is facing trial before the CMM here in a 2002 extortion case of a Delhi businessman.

He was granted bail in this case on June 26 and the matter is now at the stage of recording of the prosecution evidence.