Plea for dropping MCOCA charges against Abu Salem rejected


New Delhi : A city court Friday dismissed the Delhi Police’s plea for dropping charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) against extradited gangster Abu Salem in a 2002 extortion case.

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Additional Sessions Judge Pinki dismissed the police’s plea that the MCOCA charges against Salem contradicted the conditions of his extradition from Portugal.

“Laxity in the extradition efforts would only increase the offenders’ appetite to commit crimes with impunity by fleeing to a foreign territory where he cannot be touched except though extradition,” she said.

“Extradition is practised among nations for two reasons, firstly to warn criminals that they cannot escape punishment and secondly, it is in the interest of territorial states that a criminal who has fled from another territory should not be left free because he may again commit a crime and run away from the other state,” she added.

The central government had asked the Delhi Police to approach court for dropping the MCOCA charges after Salem had approached a court in Portugal alleging that Indian authorities were acting in contravention of the extradition terms.

Salem, extradited from Portugal in 2005, was booked under MCOCA for allegedly making extortion calls to a 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 the death penalty, sentenced to more than 25 years in jail or tried under any special law.