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Updated: October 26, 2009 20:04 IST

Abu Salem withdraws plea against MCOCA charge

Staff Reporter
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File photo of Abu Salem.
File photo of Abu Salem.

Underworld don Abu Salem, who is facing prosecution in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and other criminal cases in the Capital, on Monday withdrew his petition from the Delhi High Court challenging dismissal of an order by a lower court here validating the slapping of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) charges against him by the Delhi police.

Counsel for Salem withdrew the petition when Justice Kailash Gambhir of the Court said the accused should file a revision petition against the lower court order.

Salem had filed the petition under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. P.C.) under which the High Court enjoys inherent powers to interfere in any criminal matter.

The Court further observed that the accused need not take recourse to Section 482.

The trial court had in August this year dismissed the Delhi police’s application seeking withdrawal of MCOCA charges against the accused saying that it was not in public interest.

The police had sought dropping of the MCOCA charges against the accused arguing that according to the conditions of his extradition from Portugal he could be awarded the maximum punishment of 25 years of imprisonment by Indian courts while under MCOCA he could even be awarded the death sentence.

Counsel for Salem had also supported the contention of the Delhi police on the same ground.

The Union Government had asked the Delhi police to approach the trial court seeking dropping of the MCOCA charges against Salem when he had approached a court in Portugal alleging that Indian authorities were acting in contravention of the extradition conditions.

Salem was extradited from Portugal in 2005. He was booked under MCOCA for allegedly making extortion calls to a Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002.

Among the conditions under which Salem was extradited were that he cannot be awarded death penalty, sentenced to more than 25 years in jail or tried under any special law.

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