Govt likely to inform Portugal of dropping additional charges against don Salem
February, 23rd 2012
The government is exploring the possibility of dropping additional charges by Indian courts against underworld don Abu Salem and also inform Portuguese authorities about it, official sources said. The decision was taken at meeting in the ministry of home affairs, where officials from the CBI, the law ministry and the ministry of external affairs took part. Sources claimed that the home ministry has been asked to coordinate with the state police departments on their stand on additional charges imposed by them and the CBI has been asked to look into the legalities and then accordingly inform the court.
Sources said the home ministry had been declared as a nodal ministry to take a decision on this, and also liaise with other police forces where he is facing cases. It was decided that the Portuguese courts will be apprised about the recent Supreme Court of India's order that had spelt that the order of the Portuguese court should be respected and also stayed the TADA proceedings in two cases against Salem.
Portugal's Supreme Court had recently upheld the order of a lower court there, terminating his extradition for "violation" of deportation rules by Indian authorities. At the time of Salem's extradition, India had assured Portugal that no charges attracting death penalty, or jail for more than 25 years would be pressed against him, but such charges were later brought in by Delhi and Mumbai Police. During the meeting, CBI and MEA officials gave a presentation that non-adherence of executive assurance would not augur well for the future cooperation from foreign nations, sources said.
In a setback to India, Portugal's Supreme Court had upheld an order that cancelled extradition of the gangster for violation of deportation rules by slapping new charges that attracted death penalty. The CBI had said the SC did not cancel the extradition of Salem and that only a technical point was raised. It also said the order is not expected to have any repercussions on the status of Salem's ongoing trial in India.