Mumbai TADA court rejects Salem's plea for closure of case

Mumbai TADA court rejects Salem's plea for closure of case

A special TADA court here today rejected the application of gangster Abu Salem, seeking closure of his trial, after the CBI said it had challenged the order of Portugal Supreme Court, which had terminated his extradition to India in that country's constitutional court.

Salem had filed the application on January 17, after the Portugal Supreme Court upheld the order of a lower court there terminating his extradition for violation of deportation rules by Indian authorities.

"We have challenged the order of Portugal Supreme Court in the Constitutional Court. (Hence) The trial of Salem in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case (at TADA court) should go on," CBI lawyer said.

Cancellation of extradition was a matter between the two governments and it should not stop the trial, the CBI said.

The Court of Appeal in Lisbon had held that there was a breach of "Rule of Speciality".
At the time of Salem's extradition, India had assured Portugal that no charges attracting death penalty, or imprisonment for more than 25 years would be pressed against him, but such charges were later pressed.

Reacting to the order, the CBI had then claimed the Portugal Supreme Court had not cancelled the extradition per se.

Salem is currently lodged in Arthur Road Jail here. Following Portugal SC's order, he applied to TADA court, saying that trial against him should be closed.

The Delhi Police's action, which flew in the face of assurance given to Portugal, left the Union Government and CBI embarrased. Later, police sought to withdraw those charges, but the Delhi High Court as well the Supreme Court did not allow it.

Salem then filed a petition in the high court at Lisbon, alleging violation of Rule of Speciality. In the ruling on September 19 last year, Lisbon court said there had been a breach of the undertaking given by India.

According to CBI, Supreme Court of India, in September 2010, had ruled on similar petition by Salem that there had been no violation of Rule of Speciality.
Salem and his then companion, actress Monica Bedi, were extradited to India on November 11, 2005, after a marathon legal process lasting three years.