New Delhi: India has approached Portugal's Supreme Court challenging its High Court order which had terminated the extradition of underworld don Abu Salem for breach of agreement by India by slapping charges which attract death penalty.

India, in its appeal before the Portuguese Supreme Court, has said the interpretation of the High Court of the trial in various courts of the country was not correct.

In its affidavit, India has assured that the fresh charges levelled against Salem, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, attracted less jail term than the offences for which he had been extradited, official sources said here on Tuesday.

In its plea, which will soon come up for hearing, India has asked for a stay on the Portuguese High Court order, the sources said.

Lisbon High Court had on September 19 allowed the plea of the extradited gangster, being tried in eight criminal cases including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that he be sent back to Portugal.

Salem, a gangster extradited from Portugal in November 2005, was charged with MCOCA for allegedly making extortion calls to Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002, demanding Rs five crore as protection money.

The Portuguese court had said that in view of the new charges against Salem which entail death penalty, the authorisation granted for his extradition has been terminated as it violated the principle of speciality.

India had given an 'executive assurance' to Portugal that Salem would not be given death penalty or charged with any section of law which entails jail for more than 25 years, once he is extradited.

(Agencies)