Abu Salem gets bail in Delhi extortion case
New Delhi – A Delhi court Thursday granted bail to gangster Abu Salem, facing trial for allegedly demanding Rs.5 crore as protection money from a national capital-based businessman in 2002.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma allowed Salem’s bail plea on a personal bond of Rs.1 lakh, with surety of similar amount.
The judge granted bail after considering that the other co-accused in the case were already out on bail.
The court said: “The main prosecution witnesses have already been examined in this case and only three police officials are to be examined now… in totality of facts and circumstances, accused Abu Salem is granted bail.”
Abu Salem, extradited from Portugal in 2005 along with five others, in 2002 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 said he had already been granted bail in two cases pending against him in separate courts in Delhi. Due to his long incarceration, he was entitled to relief, he said.
During the proceedings Thursday, the court also recorded the statement of businessman Ashok Gupta, who told the court that he received numerous extortion calls from Salem in April 2002, in which the Mumbai gangster demanded Rs.5 crore and threatened to eliminate Gupta’s family if the demand was not met.
The businessman told police about the extortion calls, and a recorder was fitted on the landline phone of his house. Gupta said Salem would repeatedly call and threaten him.
Police claimed to have recorded some of the telephonic conversations.
The court has fixed Dec 9 for recording the statement of the remaining prosecution witnesses in the case.