Court asks for Abu Salem's documents
A city court on Friday asked the central government to present before it details of the extradition treaty which restricts charging underworld don Abu Salem under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA).
Salem was extradited to India from Portugal in 2005 to face trial in eight cases, 12 years after he allegedly masterminded bomb blasts in Mumbai. The extradition treaty with the Portuguese government however specifies that Salem would not be tried under any act that has death penalty as maximum punishment.
Last month, Delhi Police moved an application in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur seeking withdrawal of MCOCA charges against Salem.
Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh, who has been specially roped in this case as a special prosecutor, told the court Friday that MCOCA did not figure in the Portuguese court's extradition order and, therefore, Salem could not be prosecuted under the special law.
He pointed out that India had sought to include MCOCA in the extradition order but the Portuguese court had specifically denied it.
The move follows the opinion given by the ministry of law and justice to the ministry of home affairs that MCOCA charges against Salem would not be legally tenable.
Salem is facing trail in connection with an extortion call made to Delhi Businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002. The police had booked him for demanding Rs 5 billion from Gupta.