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Portugal SC refuses Salem's recall plea

However, the court warns India that future requests will not be entertained easily if Salem's claim of violation of the conditions for extradition is found to be true.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 15, 2008 12:55 PM IST

Refusing extradited gangster Abu Salem's plea to be recalled, the Supreme Court of Portugal has held that if any country violates the terms of extradition, it may render it difficult to entertain such pleas in future and it may even reject new requests by such nations.

Hearing an application filed by Salem in which the gangster sought to be recalled claiming that the extradition conditions are being violated, Portugal's apex court said that his claims are yet to be ascertained.

It, however, gave a clear warning to India that future requests will not be entertained easily if Salem's claim of violation of the conditions is found to be true.

Stating that Portugal can ask for relevant information from the State (India) concerned regarding the plea, the court observed, "Portuguese State may always invoke the disrespect that will have occurred, in future requests for extradition submitted by the same country, rendering it difficult or even rejecting new extraditions."

Salem, who was extradited to India in November 2005 along with companion Monica Bedi, had made allegations of violation of human rights by Indian authorities in his plea to the apex court in Portugal and also claimed that he was accused of crimes that were excluded from the conditions of extradition.

Salem's charges were framed by the Portugal court and the same was a part of the extradition condition, Salem's lawyer Rashid Ansari told PTI.

"Salem was brought to India for undergoing trial of nine cases but the authorities here have further investigated the cases after the extradition and framed additional charges, which is in violation of the treaty," he said adding that Salem's confessional statement was also recorded under duress after he was extradited.

If the consequent conclusion is that the extradited person is being "proceeded against, tried, detained or subject to any restriction of freedom for a fact or conviction... different from those in the request" then the authorisation for extradition granted will be terminated. This will mean that the presence of the appellant in territory of the Indian Union will have to be considered "illegal", the order says.

While the Supreme Court of Portugal has considered Salem's application partly, they have refused to recall him to Portugal, as sought by him.

Salem is being tried for the 1993 bomb blasts case, the murders of builder Pradip Jain and Ajit Diwani, secretary of actor Manisha Koirala apart from three extortion cases in Delhi and three fake passport cases in Lucknow, Bhopal and Hyderabad.

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