The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed Delhi police to drop stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) charges against gangster Abu Salem in an extortion case pending in a court.
The police required the order urgently as the Portugese supreme court had in January cancelled Salem's extradition for violating the extradition terms by invoking MCOCA against him. It was after the Indian government filed an appeal that a Portugese constitution court in March stayed the order cancelling the extradition.
"The petition of Delhi Police is allowed. The order dated August 28, 2009 passed by the designated lower court is set aside. The state is permitted to withdraw the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA)," Justice V K Shali said.
The judgment came on a Delhi Police petition seeking revocation of the lower court's order, which had denied it the permission to withdraw the MCOCA charges Salem.
The Delhi police had invoked Section 3(2) and Section 3(4) of MCOCA relating to commission of an offence by an organised crime syndicate as per a criminal conspiracy for extortion of money from a Delhi-based trader in 2002.
Earlier, the Portuguese high court had terminated the extradition of Salem to India on ground that the extradition terms agreed to between the two nations have not been observed. The supreme court of Portugal too had upheld the decision, which left the CBI with the sole remedy to seek reversal in the constitutional court there.
Salem, along with his girlfriend Monica Bedi, was detained in Portugal on September 18, 2002, and handed over to India on November 11, 2005, to face trial in eight cases including the 1992 Mumbai blast case.