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Extortion case: Abu Salem claims lack of evidence against him

Gangster Abu Salem on Monday told a Delhi court that his trial in a case of allegedly demanding Rs 5 crore as protection money from a Delhi businessman in 2002, violated an order by which he was extradited to India.

He told Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sehrawat that the prosecution lacked evidence to prove that he had demanded the money from the businessman or that the number from which the call was made to the complainant, belonged to him.

“The stringent law Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) has already been withdrawn and the evidence recorded under that cannot be used against him (Salem).

The charges of criminal conspiracy (120-B of IPC) also stands withdrawn and there is nothing to connect him with the co- accused,” advocate M S Khan, appearing for Salem, said.

He also said that Salem “was tried in violation of the extradition order”.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on January 31 when the prosecution is expected to file a reply to the claims of the accused.

Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in November 2005, was granted bail in 2013 in the present case. However, he is currently in jail on various other cases, including the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

Salem, along with five other accused, is facing trial for allegedly demanding Rs 5 crore as protection money from businessman Ashok Gupta, a resident of Greater Kailash in south Delhi.

According to the prosecution, Salem allegedly demanded the money from Gupta and his son Abhishek in April 2002, threatening that he would eliminate their family members if the demand was not fulfilled.

The other accused facing trial are Chanchal Mehta, Majid Khan, Pawan Kumar Mittal and Mohd Ashraf. One of the accused, Sajjan Kumar Soni, died during the course of the trial.

Police claims to have recorded some of the telephone calls made by Salem to Gupta.

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