No trial through video conferencing for Salem
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 19:01
New Delhi: A city court on Wednesday accepted extradited gangster Abu Salem's plea against conducting his trial through video conferencing in a case of alleged extortion following a U-turn by Delhi Police but rejected his bail application.

The idea to conduct trial in the case against Salem was earlier floated by the court itself. Delhi Police, which had then strongly backed it citing security threat to the accused in shuttling him between Mumbai and Delhi, made volte-face stating that it was not required at this stage.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja, taking into account the submission by the police, allowed Salem's plea who had opposed any trial through video conferencing alleging it was a ploy to delay the matter and would further affect his right to fair defence if implemented.

"During the course of argument for conducting trial, it is submitted by the prosecution (Delhi Police) that the state does not want to press video-conferencing at this stage. So, the plea of the accused (Salem) is allowed," the court said, fixing October 13 as the date for recording evidence.

Meanwhile, the court dismissed Salem's plea for bail on the ground that he had completed more than half of the maximum seven-year jail term prescribed under the statute for the offence of extortion.

Salem, extradited from Portugal in 2005, is being tried along with three others Ishtiya Ahmed, C P Rai and Sadiq Ali for allegedly making threat calls to businessmen Puneet Khanna and Rajat Nagrath, owner of Delhi-based Allied Communications, demanding Rs one crore in 2002.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 19:01

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