SC stays TADA proceedings against Abu Salem

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed TADA proceedings in two cases against alleged gangster Abu Salem.

New Delhi: Observing that the order of
Portugal court terminating the extradition of Abu Salem to
India has to be respected, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the
TADA proceedings in two cases against the alleged gangster.

A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam, however, refused
to stay proceedings in other five cases and issued notices to
the CBI and the Centre on Salem`s plea to quash all criminal
cases against him.

The bench asked the CBI and the Ministry of External
Affairs to file their replies within four weeks and also asked
Attorney General GE Vahanwati to assist it in deciding
Salem`s plea.

Out of two TADA cases, one is related to 1993 Mumbai
serial balsts.

"We have to respect the order of court of appeal and the
Supreme Court of Justice of Portugal," the bench observed.

It said that there was an important question involved on
whether an executive decision could affect judicial

"The matters require consideration of the court and we
will admit your plea," the bench said while issuing notices.

Salem approached the apex court against the TADA court`s
order of January 31, rejecting his plea for closure of his

He had filed the application after the Portugal Supreme
Court upheld the order of a lower court there, terminating his
extradition for "violation" of deportation rules by Indian

At the time of Salem`s extradition, India had assured
Portugal that no charges attracting death penalty, or
imprisonment of more than 25 years would be pressed against
him, but such charges were later brought in.

Salem is currently lodged in Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.
Following the Portugal SC`s order, he applied to the TADA
court, saying that trial against him should be closed.

The Delhi Police`s action, which flew in the face of
assurance given to Portugal, left the Union government and the
CBI embarrassed. Later, the police sought to withdraw those
charges, but the Delhi High Court as well the Supreme Court
did not allow it.

Salem then filed a petition in the high court at Lisbon,
alleging violation of the Rule of Speciality. In the ruling on
September 19, last year, the Lisbon court said there had been
a breach of the undertaking given by India.

According to the CBI, the Supreme Court of India, in
September 2010, had ruled on a similar petition by Salem that
there had been no violation of the Rule of Speciality.

Salem and his then companion, actress Monica Bedi, were
extradited to India on November 11, 2005, after a marathon
legal process lasting three years.


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