In a setback to India, Portugal's apex constitutional court on Tuesday upheld a verdict passed by the country's Supreme Court in January - confirming the cancellation of 1993 Mumbai blasts accused gangster Abu Salem's extradition in November 2005.
The constitutional court dismissed the CBI's appeal against the Supreme Court's order on the grounds that the "Union of India has no locus standi, legitimacy to appeal the verdict".
Portugal's Supreme Court had earlier upheld the Lisbon high court's September 2011 order that had cancelled Salem's extradition. It had confirmed that there was an alleged breach of Rule of Specialty, considering he had been charged for certain offences in Indian trial courts, a source said.
The high court order was in response to a petition by Salem, challenging his extradition. Though Portugal's public prosecutor had appealed against the high court order in the Supreme Court, it was turned down.
"We are studying the Portuguese constitutional court's order on Abu Salem's extradition and will explore all the legal options, including filing a review petition against it. We will also make efforts through diplomatic channels," said the source. The CBI has not ruled out the option of filing a fresh extradition request for Salem.
The source pointed out that "at the time of Salem's extradition, the then Indian deputy Prime Minister had given a solemn assurance to the Portuguese government that Salem would not be awarded death penalty, and his detention would not exceed 25 years. None of these assurances have been violated".
Salem was extradited on November 11, 2005, after being arrest in Lisbon in September 2002. On the CBI's request, Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against him in 1997.