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Indian Case Summary

Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari vs State Of Maharashtra & Anr on 10 September, 2010 – Case Summary

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In the case of Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari vs State Of Maharashtra & Anr on 10 September, 2010, the Supreme Court of India was confronted with a complex legal issue involving extradition law and the jurisdiction of Indian courts over crimes committed by individuals extradited to India. The case was presided over by Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.

Facts of the Case

Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari, the appellant, was extradited from Portugal to India in 2005 to face trial in eight criminal cases, including the 1993 Bombay Bomb Blast Case. The extradition was granted under certain conditions and assurances given by the Government of India to the Government of Portugal. One of these conditions was that Ansari would not be prosecuted for offences other than those for which his extradition had been sought.

However, upon his return to India, Ansari was charged with additional offences that were not included in the extradition decree. These charges were brought under various sections of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA Act), the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Explosive Substances Act, and the Arms Act.

Issues Raised

The main issue raised in this case was whether Indian courts had jurisdiction to try Ansari for offences not included in the extradition decree. Ansari argued that his trial for these additional offences violated the extradition decree and the sovereign assurances given by the Government of India to the Government of Portugal. He contended that this was in violation of Section 21 of the Indian Extradition Act, which stipulates that a person extradited to India can only be tried for the offence for which extradition has been granted.

Court’s Observations and Judgment

The court observed that the extradition decree granted by the Portuguese authorities included offences of a higher degree, and the additional offences for which Ansari was being tried were subsumed or included in these higher degree offences. Therefore, the court held that the trial for these additional offences was permissible under Section 21(b) of the Extradition Act, 1962.

The court also noted that the principle of extradition is founded on the broad principle that it is in the interest of civilised communities that criminals should not go unpunished. Therefore, one State should ordinarily afford to another State assistance towards bringing offenders to justice.

The court rejected Ansari’s contention that he was being tried for offences for which he had not been specifically extradited. It held that the charges brought against him were not in violation of the extradition decree or the sovereign assurances given by the Government of India to the Government of Portugal.

In conclusion, the court upheld the charges brought against Ansari and dismissed his appeals and writ petition. The court affirmed that the Indian courts had jurisdiction to try Ansari for the additional offences, as they were subsumed or included in the offences for which his extradition had been granted.