Dismissing the plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Portugal's Supreme Court upheld its lower court's decision that extradition treaty with India was violated in Abu Salem's case by slapping of new charges against the underworld don that attract death penalty.
However, the CBI clarified on Tuesday that the Supreme Court has not cancelled the extradition of Salem and that only a technical point had been raised. It also said the order was not expected to have any repercussions on the status of Abu Salem and the ongoing trial against him in India.
The Supreme Court gave its order on Saturday while dismissing a CBI appeal against the lower court decision which had held that rules have been breached on extradition of Abu Salem in 2005.
A CBI spokesperson said here that the option of filing an appeal before the Constitutional Court in Portugal was available to the agency and it was likely to be exercised.
Abu Salem, the prime accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and his girl friend Monica Bedi were extradited to India on November 11, 2005, after a prolonged legal battle in Portugal that went on for three years. The underworld don was also wanted in the murder of film producer Gulshan Kumar.
His extradition came after an assurance by Indian government to Portugal that he would not be given death penalty, a key requirement in extradition proceedings in Europe.
"There is expected to be no repercussion on status of Abu Salem and on the on-going trial against him. Trial Courts at Lucknow and Mumbai have rejected his petitions," a CBI spokesperson said.
Salem had filed a petition in the High Court in Lisbon alleging violation of Rule of Speciality after which a judgment was pronounced on September 19, last year, saying there had been breach of the Indian undertaking given to the Portuguese authorities.
The CBI, through Ministry of External Affairs, had filed a plea in the Portuguese Supreme Court contending that it was a matter of interpretation of Rule of Speciality by the highest court of India, which was binding on all subordinate courts in the country, official sources said.