Quashing the lower court order of August 28, 2009, the Delhi High Court (HC) on Friday allowed Delhi police to withdraw strict Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) charges against gangster Abu Salem who is accused in eight cases in India including Mumbai serial bomb blast 1992 and an extortion case pending in Delhi lower court.
The police urgently required this order as the leveled charges of MACOCA violates the extradition terms that were held between India and Portugal at the time of Salem's extradition and the Portugese Supreme Court in January had cancelled the extradition of Salem stating that India had not observed the extradition terms.
Earlier a Delhi lower court has allowed Delhi Police to leveled MACOCA on Abu Salem in the connection of allegedly making an extortion calls and asking Rs. 2-crore to a Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002.
Quashing the order of lower court, Delhi HC's judge, Justice V K Shali said, "The petition of Delhi Police is allowed. The order dated August 28, 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)."
Salem, along with his girlfriend Monica Bedi, was detained in Portugal on September 18, 2002, and handed over to India on November 11, 2005, to face trial in eight cases including the 1992 Mumbai blast case.
Among the conditions under which Salem was extradited from Portugal to India was that he cannot be awarded the death sentence or tried under any special law and can only be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years of imprisonment.
--With Agencies Inputs--