Abu Salem Seeks Bail, Court Adjourns Plea for Nov 7

A Delhi court today adjourn till November 7 the hearing on a bail plea of gangster Abu Salem, who is facing trial for allegedly demanding Rs 5 crore as protection money from a businessman here in 2002.

Salem, extradited from Portugal in November 2005, had earlier this month filed the application before the court of additional sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma.

The court did not hear the arguments on his plea as Salem was not produced before it. The police, however, sought more time to file reply on his bail plea.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on the application on November 7 and recorded statements of the prosecution witnesses in the case.

In his bail plea filed through advocate M S Khan, Salem had said he has already been granted bail in two cases pending against him in separate courts in Delhi and due to his long "incarceration", he is entitled to get relief.

"It is pertinent to mention here that applicant-accused (Salem) in view of his long incarceration is entitled to be released on bail under the provisions contained in section 436 A of CrPC and he has been granted bail in other two cases pending against him in Delhi courts," he had said.

The counsel had also contended that there was "no chance of Salem's absconding or tampering with the evidence".

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

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 pendency of the case.

According to police, Salem allegedly made threat calls to businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002 to extort Rs 5 crore from him as protection money. Police had also recorded some of the alleged telephonic calls.

Salem, facing trial in eight cases in the country including the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, is lodged in a jail in Mumbai.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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