A Delhi court on Tuesday framed charges of extortion and criminal conspiracy against underworld don Abu Salem, paving the way for his trial in a seven-year-old case.
Salem, who was brought to Delhi from Bhopal amid tight security arrangements, was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja who framed criminal charges against the extradited gangster.
Arvind Shukla, counsel for Salem, claimed that there was insufficient evidence to frame charges against the accused.
The prosecution said there was a "positive" forensic report of the intercepted calls of Salem, which is sufficient ground for his trial.
The court after hearing the contentions of both the ordered the trial of the accused under Sections 387 (extortion), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Salem also moved a bail application, which was listed for hearing by the court on July 14.
The trial against Salem is to begin from July 21 with the recording of statements of the witnesses in the case. Three other accused -- C P Rai, Istiyaq Ahmed and Sadiq Aliin -- have already been charged in the case in 2003.
Salem was produced before the court after it had on May 30 issued a fresh production warrant against the accused following the Mumbai police's failure to produce him in an extortion case.
Earlier, the court had on May eight directed the Arthur Road Jail authorities in Mumbai to produce Salem on May 30.
The Mumbai Police had on December 12 last year, January 16, February 24, March 19, April 10 and April 24 this year failed to produce the gangster in Delhi.
Salem, who was brought to Delhi on November 26 last year, has been lodged in the Mumbai jail after being extradited from Portugal in 2005.
All the accused, including Salem, have been booked for making threat calls to Rajat Nagrath, owner of Delhi-based Allied Communication demanding Rs one crore in 2002.
Salem is facing trial in eight cases, including 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and two murder cases across the country.