The Delhi High Court today allowed police to drop stringent MCOCA charges from an extortion case against gangster Abu Salem, the order for whose extradition to India has been quashed by the Portuguese Supreme Court allegedly owing to non-observance of extradition terms here.
“The petition of Delhi Police is allowed. The order dated 28 August, 2009 passed by the designated lower court is set aside. The state is permitted to withdraw the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA),” Justice VK Shali said.
The court’s judgement came on a petition of the Delhi Police seeking revocation of the lower court’s order which had denied it the permission to withdraw the MCOCA charges against the extradited gangster.
The Delhi High Court judgement assumes significance as it would help the CBI in pursuing the Salem’s extradition case before the constitutional court in Portugal, where the probe agency have suffered set backs in judicial proceedings.
Earlier, the Portuguese high court had terminated the extradition of Salem to India on ground that the extradition terms agreed to between the two nations have not been observed. The Supreme Court of Portugal too had upheld the decision which left the CBI with the sole remedy to seek reversal in the Constitutional Court there.
The Delhi High Court today disposed of two separate petitions of Salem against the order of the lower court saying “your petitions become inconsequential. No separate order is required.”
Salem, along with his girlfriend Monica Bedi, a Bollywood starlet, was detained in Portugal on 18 September, 2002, and handed over to India on 11 November, 2005, to face trial in eight cases including the 1992 Mumbai blast case.