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Delhi HC defers hearing in Abu Salem's case to Dec 20

Source: PTI
November 08, 2011 17:42 IST
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The Delhi high court on Tuesday deferred to December 20 the hearing on a plea by the city police seeking withdrawal of charges under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act against alleged gangster Abu Salem as it violated provisions of the extradition agreement with Portugal.

Justice V K Shali deferred the hearing of the case after the counsel for the Delhi police sought an adjournment, as the senior counsel was not available on Tuesday.

The high court had earlier, on October 21, rapped the city police for being "lax" while filing the chargesheet in the trial court against Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari under MCOCA. Additional Solicitor General Haren Rawal, appearing for the police, had during the last hearing sought an early hearing of the plea, saying that "otherwise the extradition of the accused would be in jeopardy."

The plea was filed after a Portuguese high court revoked Salem's extradition to India on the ground that the terms of extradition agreement, executed by India and Portugal, have been breached as he was charged with an offence punishable with life term or death sentence. "Why was the state lax when the charge sheet against Salem was filed under the MCOCA and charges were framed in contravention of the extradition agreement. You are trying to take advantage of your own wrong," Justice Shali had said while issuing a notice to Salem, lodged at Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in November 2005, was also charged with MCOCA for allegedly making extortion calls to Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002, demanding Rs 5 crore as protection money.

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