TADA court rejects Abu Salem`s plea to stay trials
Mumbai: A TADA court in Mumbai on Tuesday rejected underworld don Abu Salem’s plea to halt the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blast trial and proceedings in the Pradeep Jain murder case.
Salem had moved a petition before the TADA court with a request that he should not be produced in any court till the conclusion of the proceedings in Lisbon.
He argued that the trial in cases registered against him cannot go on after the Portuguese Court order terminating his extradition.
The plea was moved a day after the Portuguese High Court cancelled his extradition to India.
TADA judge GA Sanap, while rejecting Salem`s plea, observed that the Indian government has challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court of Portugal and until a final order was passed there, the proceedings in Indian courts could not be stayed.
Salem`s lawyer argued that the Portugal High Court order had said that there was a breach of agreement by India as it slapped offences which attracted death penalty.
The CBI, on the other hand, argued that though the Portugal High Court had terminated extradition of Salem, the government of India had challenged the order in the Supreme Court of that country and until a final order was passed by the apex court the proceedings against the gangster in Indian courts could not be stayed.
The judge concurred with the CBI and rejected Salem`s plea.
In a related development Delhi High Court today deferred to December 20 the hearing on a plea by the city police seeking withdrawal of charges under stringent MCOCA against alleged gangster Abu Salem as it was violative of the provisions of the extradition agreement with Portugal.
The high court had earlier, on October 21, rapped the city police for being "lax" while filing the charge sheet in the trial court against Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari under MCOCA.
The Portuguese High Court recently ruled that the dreaded gangster be brought back from India as the Indian authorities violated the terms and conditions of the extradition treaty between the two countries, which prohibits the imposition of any charge that carries a punishment of life imprisonment or death sentence on the accused.
Salem, a key accused in the Mumbai serial blasts case along with fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, and his girlfriend Monica Bedi, were extradited to India on November 11, 2005, after a legal process in Portugal that lasted for three years.
Salem is due to face trial in nine cases related to extortion, kidnapping and murder.
With PTI inputs
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