Delhi court asks Mumbai jail to bring Salem May 29

April 7th, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) A city court Monday pulled up the authorities of Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai, for failing to present before it mobster Abu Salem for trial in a six-year-old extortion case. Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur asked the Mumbai jail authorities to bring Salem to the court May 29, the next date of hearing, for the case that has been filed under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA).

Ashok Sarogi, counsel for Abu Salem, told the court that the Maharashtra government had issued a notice stating that Salem cannot be prosecuted under the MCOCA case outside the state and therefore cannot be brought to Delhi.

Salem is facing trial 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.

To this, the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vikas Singh informed the court that Salem was also wanted in Delhi in connection with four other cases and should be brought to the city.

The court after hearing the brief arguments issued a warrant for Salem to appear before it May 29 so that trial can be expedited.

Ashok Sarogi informed the court that an application challenging the MCOCA case against Salem is pending in the Delhi High Court, which would be heard April 28.

Last month, Delhi Police moved an application in the court seeking to withdraw charges against Salem in the MCOCA case. The extradition mechanism under which Salem was brought to India from Portugal specified that Salem would not be tried under any act that has death penalty as the maximum punishment, the police said.

Salem was extradited to India from Portugal in 2005 to face trial in eight cases, 12 years after he allegedly masterminded the Mumbai serial bombings in which 257 people were killed.

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