Apprehensive that Abu Salems extradition may be annuled for breaching the treaty conditions,the central government on Friday received a relief from the Delhi High Court,which allowed the Delhi Police to drop MCOCA charges against the gangster.
The Portuguese Supreme Court had upheld the High Court order there setting aside Salems extradition on the ground that he was slapped with stringent charges under MCOCA in contravention of the assurance given to Portugal. In order to secure the extradition,India,which has no extradition treaty with Portugal,had given an executive assurance that he would be awarded neither death penalty nor a jail term exceeding 25 years nor fresh charges would be invoked.
On Friday,Justice V K Shali allowed the police to withdraw MCOCA charges against him after setting aside a trial court order,asking Salem to stand trial under the Act. The judgment assumes significance as it might help the CBI in pursuing Salems extradition case before the Constitutional Court in Portugal.
Salems counsel M S Khan however differs. This verdict has now got no impact since Salems extradition has already been quashed. What remains in the Portuguese Court is not a case on merit but on other technical grounds. As far the extradition is concerned,this order is now inconsequential.