The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to the Union and the Delhi governments on a revision petition filed by underworld don Abu Salem 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.
Salem is facing prosecution in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and other criminal cases in the Capital. He had last month withdrawn his earlier petition seeking quashing of the lower court’s order when Justice Kailash Gambhir said that the accused should file a revision petition in the matter.
Salem had filed the earlier 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 had then observed that the accused need not take recourse to Section 482. He should rather file a revision petition, Justice Gambhir had said.
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 the extradition of him from Portugal he could be awarded the maximum punishment of 25 years of imprisonment by Indian courts while under MCOCA he could be even awarded death sentence.
Counsel for Salem also 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 Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002, demanding Rs.50 million.
Among the conditions under which Salem was extradited are that he cannot be awarded death penalty, sentenced to more than 25 years in jail or tried under any special law.