A court here Tuesday posted for Nov 7 hearing on the bail plea moved by gangster Abu Salem, facing trial for allegedly demanding Rs.5 crore as protection money from a capital-based businessman in 2002. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma did not hear the arguments on the plea as Abu Salem was not presented in the court. The judge recorded the statements of the prosecution witnesses in the case and the police sought more time to file reply on his bail plea. Abu Salem, extradited from Portugal in 2005, along with five others, had allegedly made extortion calls to businessman Ashok Gupta, demanding Rs.5 crore as protection money. The gangster has been facing trial in eight cases in the country, including the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, and is currently lodged in a Mumbai jail. In his bail application, Abu 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. The bail application said: "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 (Criminal Procedure Code) and he has been granted bail in other two cases pending against him in Delhi courts."It further added that there was no chance of Abu Salem's absconding or tampering with the evidence.
New Delhi, Oct 29