SC to deliver verdict on Abu Salem plea on Monday

The Supreme Court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on gangster Abu Salem`s plea for quashing trials against him in various cases.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on gangster Abu Salem`s plea for quashing trials against him in various cases after Portugal`s apex court terminated his extradition to India for "violation" of deportation rules by authorities here.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam had reserved the verdict on July 9 saying it would pass order after considering CBI`s submission that the agency is ready to drop certain charges against 45-year-old Salem under TADA and Explosive Substances Act in view of its commitment to Portuguese government at the time of his extradition that he shall not be awarded death penalty or detained in custody for more than 25 years if found guilty.
Attorney General G E Vahanwati had said government was committed to its assurance given to the Portuguese court and sought the apex court`s permission to drop the additional charges framed against Salem by the trial court.

The agency sought withdrawal of charges under section 5 and 6 of TADA and sections 4(b) and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act.

The Supreme Court had stayed the trial after Salem approached the apex court against the TADA court`s order of January 31, rejecting his plea for closure of his trial.
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 authorities.

At the time of Salem`s extradition, India had assured Portugal that no charges entailing 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 had appealed to the TADA court, saying that the trial against him should be closed.
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.

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

PTI

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