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Centre asked to respond on Salem's plea

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 08, 2007 18:16 IST
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The Delhi High Court on Friday sought replies from the Centre and the Delhi Police on underworld don Abu Salem's petition challenging his prosecution under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Justice R S Sodi, after hearing brief argument of Salem's counsel, directed the Centre, the Delhi government and the city police to file their reply by July 23 when the matter will be heard by the court.

The counsel for Abu Salem contended that at the time of his extradition the Portugal government had mentioned that he would not be prosecuted under MCOCA.

"While passing the Ministerial orders for the extradition, the government of Portugal had specifically denied for the accused (Salem) to be tried under the offences punishable under MCOC Act 1999," the counsel Priyatosh Tiwari submitted.

"In violation of the terms of extradition, the prosecution is attempting to implicate Salem in various other offences, for which they are seeking remand," Tiwari said while seeking to quash June 2 order of the trial court, which sent him to police custody under MCOCA.

The Centre, however, opposed the contention and said that the petition should not be entertained at this stage because the order had already been passed by the trial court.

Not convinced with the government's argument, the court directed it to file its reply by July 23.

Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Friday sent Salem to judicial custody till July two in the MCOCA case registered in 2002 for allegedly attempting to extort Rs five crore from a businessman in Delhi.

Salem, who is facing trial in eight cases in the country, including infamous 1993 Mumbai blasts case, was lodged in Arthur Road jail there after his extradition from Portugal in 2005.

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