New Delhi: In an effort to escape international criticism, the Central government is mulling over the idea of withdrawing the additional charges leveled against Abu Salem. Earlier, the Portuguese Supreme Court had quashed all the additional charges against Salem by terming it as a breach of deportation laws.

Rejecting an appeal by Indian authorities, the Portugal Supreme Court had upheld the order of Court of Appeal in Lisbon which had held that there was a breach of Rule of Speciality in the matter of extradition of the 46-year-old underworld don. However, the proceeding will have no effect on Salem’s sentence.

Though the Supreme Court of India does not view the additional charges made against Salem as a violation of the deportation laws, the government does not want a confrontation between the Apex Court of two countries. Therefore, it is evident that the trial against Salem would be done based on earlier charges made against him.   

A senior official from the Home Ministry said, “This matter may lead to international criticism of India. So it’s better we withdraw the additional charges against him. ”

Although, India has challenged the January 17 order of the Portuguese Supreme Court, it is very unlikely that such an appeal would be accepted. As according to the law, only the Portuguese government can appeal against the SC order.

The Portugal government has however refused to appeal against the order.

In spite of the ruling of the Portuguese Supreme Court there is no scope of Abu Salem being deported to Portugal as no agencies across the world can extradite Salem back to Portugal without India’s permission.

However, Salem can appeal in the European nations Human Rights Court to force India to adhere to the ruling of the Portuguese court, which can eventually ruin India’s image internationally.

Therefore it is an intelligent move by the Indian government to take back all the additional charges against Salem to avoid any embarrassment.

India had given an executive assurance to Portugal that it would not slap any charges against Salem which would attract death penalty and would not keep him behind bars for more than 25 years.

(JPN/ Bureau)