The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Monica seeks Lisbon asylum

New Delhi, Dec. 9 (PTI): Underworld don and Bombay blasts accused Abu Salem’s wife Monica Bedi has approached the Portugal government for asylum, a move to be opposed by the CBI.

Monica’s move came after Portugal High Court ordered her extradition to India for allegedly obtaining fake travel documents in the name of Sana Malik Kamal from Hyderabad and fleeing the country using the same papers, CBI sources said today.

The little-known Bollywood actress has again cited minority discrimination among the reasons prompting her asylum move.

During her trial, Monica had told the court that she would be discriminated against by the Indian government as she belonged to the minority community. But the agency countered this and handed over copies of judgments given out by various courts proving that the Indian judiciary was impartial.

Monica moved the asylum application even though she could have challenged her extradition to India in the Portuguese Supreme Court.

The CBI was preparing its grounds to oppose this fresh move. The agency will file an application through the prosecutor-general of Portugal, citing the law under which criminals are barred any kind of asylum, the sources said.

Monica’s extradition order was issued after the Portuguese Supreme Court had asked the high court to review the order of a trial court, which had quashed a CBI petition for her extradition to India.

Salem’s wife was awarded a two-year jail term by a lower Portuguese court for entering Portugal on a forged document and continuing to stay in the country.

She was caught with the same passport and detained on September 18 last year along with Salem and two other companions.

During her extradition trial, Monica’s brother Bobby had deposed before the court and stated that her sister and Salem had entered Portugal as they feared threat to their lives from the Indian mafia.

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