Charges against Salem dropped as per extradition pact: Patil

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Mumbai, Mar 12 (UNI) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil today told the House that dropping of charges against extradited gangster Abu Salem in the MCOCA case was as per the extradition agreement between Indian and Portugal from where the gangster was deported.

Making a statement in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Patil said the Union Home Ministry too had cautioned the Mumbai police that any other charges against Abu Salem, except those agreed upon during the extradition, could be invalid.

Under such a situation, the Maharashtra Government has decided to withdraw the other charges, Mr Patil said.

Mr Patil said Salem is involved in several cases, including the builder Pradip Jain murder case, and could attract a maximum punishment of 25 years imprisonment if held guilty. Salem is also one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and is facing a separate trial. In the 1993 blasts case, Salem has been charged with supplying sophisticated weapons to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt.

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