India moves Portuguese SC in Abu Salem case
New Delhi: With a Portuguese High Court revoking under world don Abu Salem`s extradition, India has approached that country`s Supreme Court saying there was no breach of rules during his trial in various cases. 43 years old Salem had filed a petition in the High Court in Lisbon alleging violation of Rule of Speciality after which a judgement was pronounced on September 19 saying that the 2005 extradition stood revoked as there had been breach of the Indian undertaking given to the Portuguese authorities.
The CBI, through Ministry of External Affairs, filed the 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 is binding on all subordinate courts in the country, official sources said.India has argued that the High Court of Lisbon has interpreted the Rule of Speciality differently. Its plea is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court soon. India has said slapping of additional charges on Salem was very much within the ambit of Section 21(b) of Extradition Act, 1962 which states that additional charges could be imposed on an accused if they were of lesser offence under which the person had been extradited.
In its affidavit, New Delhi has assured that fresh charges levelled against Salem, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, attracted less jail term than the offences for which he had been extradited, the sources said. There is no mention of death penalty in the affidavit in the review petition and the sources said this issue does not arise as Salem will not be given death penalty even if the Act under which he has been booked attracted capital punishment.
India had given an `executive assurance` to Portugal that Salem would not be given death penalty or charged with any section of law which entails jail term of more than 25 years.