Extortion case: Court allows Abu Salem's plea

Posted By: PTI
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New Delhi, Feb 21: A Delhi court on Friday allowed a plea of extradited gangster Abu Salem, accused of demanding Rs five crore as protection money from a businessman here in 2002, to continue with the trial in the case even in his absence.

The plea was moved before Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar by Salem's counsel M S Khan who said his client was currently lodged in Tajola Jail in Maharashtra and was not being produced regularly before the court due to which the trial in the case was getting delayed.

"Since the applicant (Salem) is not being produced, the process of recording of evidence has been delayed so in the interest of justice, the presence of the applicant may kindly be dispensed with and evidence may kindly be recorded as the identity of the accused is not disputed," Khan said.

The court allowed the application and fixed March 31 for recording the evidence of prosecution witnesses in the case. Earlier, on several occasions the court was unable to record prosecution evidence as Salem was not produced before it by the jail authorities.

Last November, Salem was granted bail by the court in the extortion case on the ground that all other co-accused have already been granted the relief.

Salem, extradited from Portugal in November 2005, and other accused are facing trial for demanding Rs five crore as protection money from Ashok Gupta, a resident of Greater Kailash here.

According to police, Salem had also threatened Gupta and his son Abhishek. Police also claimed to have recorded some of the telephonic calls.


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