India is likely to file a statement of record in Portugal's constitutional court to clarify that it did not breach New Delhi's executive assurance regarding Abu Salem's trial post extradition to India.
Portugal's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation, following a lower court ruling in that country. Salem, 43, who was extradited to India in 2005 had alleged in the Lisbon High Court that the Rule of Speciality had been violated by the Indian government. The CBI had contended that this was not the case.
Government sources said on Tuesday that though India's own Supreme Court had already clarified that there is no violation of the Rule of Speciality, in view of the other pending extradition cases in various countries and the image hit that the Indian government could take from being accused of breaching its own undertaking, the CBI will be placing a statement of record before Portugal’s Supreme Court.
Right now, cases relating to the extraditions of Retired Lieutenant Commander Ravi Shankaran (naval war room leak case), of Mohammad Hanif Umerji Patel — alias Tiger Hanif— the alleged mastermind of the 1993 bomb blast in Surat (both pending with the United Kingdom) and for two key persons in the Madhu Koda case, are at a crucial juncture. “Right now we (the Indian government) wouldn’t like to jeopardize our image before the international community,” an official explained.
Salem's contention in the Lisbon High Court was that India should try him for only those cases in which it had sought extradition and no other. The government, however, contends that the Rule of Speciality which governs such matters has been interpreted by our Supreme Court to allow India to also try Salem for further cases which carry a lesser penalty than the ones for which he was extradited.