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Why wasn't Salem deported, court asks CBI

July 05, 2008 17:08 IST

A Delhi Court on Saturday issued a notice to the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, seeking his response as to why underworld don Abu Salem [Images] was extradited instead of being deported to India from Portugal in 2005, to face trial in criminal cases including the 1992 Mumbai blasts case.

"Issue notice to the CBI Director for August 5 for apprising the court about extradition of Abu Salem," Additional Session Judge Ravinder Kaur said.

The order came after Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh submitted that "Actually, it was a case of deportation as the accused was caught in Portugal for using forged travel documents."

The ASG, who on behalf of the Delhi Police had sought dropping of MCOCA charges against Salem, had responded to a court query as to why the Centre instead of deportation went for his extradition, putting restrictions on the number of cases on which he could be tried and the quantum of sentence.

The extradition of the don was conditional and came with restrictions on the number of cases on which he could be tried and the quantum of sentence. These limitations would not have been there in case of deportation.

The National Democratic Alliance government had given an executive assurance that Salem would not be tried for offences that may invite imprisonment exceeding 25 years.

Salem is facing MCOCA charges in connection with an extortion call made to city-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002, demanding Rs five crore as protection money.

He was extradited from Portugal in 2005 in three cases of CBI probing the Mumbai blasts, passport cases of Lucknow and Hyderabad, three extortion cases and a conspiracy to murder case in Delhi and Pradip Jain and Ajit Dewani murder cases in Mumbai.

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