Centre rules out Abu Salem’s prosecution in Madhya Pradesh murder case
The MHA has said that a sessions court in Madhya Pradesh has erred by initiating prosecution against Salem in a murder case.
In a relief to gangster and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Abu Salem, who was deported from Portugal in 2005, the legal cell of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has said that he cannot be prosecuted in any case other than those mentioned in the extradition treaty with the Portuguese government.
The MHA has said that a sessions court in Madhya Pradesh has erred by initiating prosecution against Salem in a murder case. The MHA observations came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought a legal opinion from the ministry in the murder case after the gangster termed his detention illegal owing to the breach of the extradition arrangement.
Salem, who is facing trial in the 1993 bomb blasts case, had raised the objection before a designated TADA judge, GA Sanap.
Acting on Salem’s plea, the judge had asked the CBI to submit a report from the ministry of home affairs to clarify if the gangster can be prosecuted. The central agency then submitted a report, along with the MHA reply, to the TADA court.
In the letter dated August 2, the deputy legal adviser, MHA, said, “The learned sessions judge appears to have erred while appreciating the facts of the case. Whereas the correct legal position is that the accused cannot be tried for the offences which were not there in the extradition proceedings without the consent of the country from where the extradition was sought.”
“Any violation of the said principle would adversely affect India’s credibility at the international forum,” warned the adviser. In the second letter dated August 8, the officer clarified that “as on date no extradition proceedings (are) pending with the ministry of home affairs for Abu Salem”. On receipt of the affidavit from the CBI, the court has reserved the application for arguments from both the side.