Gangster Abu Salem on Tuesday moved the special TADA [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act] court seeking closure of his trial after the Portugal Supreme Court rejected the Indian government's appeal challenging violation of extradition conditions.
Abu Salem, who has been undergoing trial here for various offences including involvement in the 1993 bomb blasts, was extradited to India along with his female friend Monica Bedi in 2005.
He had earlier approached the Court of Appeals in Portugal alleging the breach of the Principle of Speciality by the Government of India. The court had then ruled in favour of Salem. The Portugal Supreme Court upheld its lower court's order that the extradition treaty with India was violated in Salem's case, as new charges attracting death penalty were slapped on him.
“The accused states that in view of the termination of the extradition, the accused above named cannot be now tried in India. The further trial of the accused in the above case would be illegal and without jurisdiction,” the application submitted before the special TADA court stated.
He said that the trial should be immediately stayed.
“The Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to file a reply on it. The case will come up for hearing on Wednesday,” Rashid Ansari, Salem's lawyer, told The Hindu.
Salem had earlier moved a similar application when the Portugal Court of Appeals, on September 14, 2011, concluded in its order that “the ongoing trial of the accused in India for new crimes is illegal and in violation of the principle of speciality” and ruled the termination of extradition authorisation granted to India.
The TADA court had rejected the previous application and said in its order then: “This [halting the trial at that stage] would be criminal waste of time of the court. If trial is proceeded further till the proceedings attain finality in the Honourable Supreme Court of Justice, Portugal, no prejudice would be caused to the accused.”
On Tuesday, Salem said in the application that the trial should not proceed further as it had “commenced on the basis of authorisation granted by the Republic of Portugal whereby the accused was extradited to India. The said order has been annulled by the Court of Appeals, Lisbon, and now stands confirmed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of Justice, Portugal. The trial of the accused cannot now proceed any further.”