The Bombay High Court today sought a report from the Union External Affairs Ministry regarding the status of initiating extradition proceedings against the absconding convict in the 1997 murder case of audio king Gulshan Kumar.
Efforts are on by the external affairs ministry to bring back the convict who had absconded and was later arrested by the Bangladesh authorities, additional public prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh informed the Court.
A division bench of justice N H Patil and justice A R Joshi then adjourned the hearing for four weeks to enable the central government to file its report.
Earlier, the Mumbai Police Commissioner had informed the court that the state government had forwarded an application to the Centre to initiate extradition proceedings against the absconding convict Abdul Rauf Merchant.
Merchant is currently lodged in a jail in Bangladesh after he absconded there and was subsequently arrested by the Dhaka police for having invalid documents.
In July 2010, the government had told the court that the Police Commissioner had shown no interest in filing a report or communicating with the prosecutor's office on the progress regarding arresting and bringing back the convict to the city.
The High Court had earlier directed the Mumbai police Chief to arrest Merchant and also set a deadline for the same.
The Mumbai Crime Branch, meanwhile, had informed that they had approached the Interpol wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation to trace and bring back Merchant.
The court was hearing an appeal against conviction filed by Merchant as well as State’s appeal against acquittal of other 16 accused including film producer Ramesh Taurani.
Rauf reportedly went missing after he was released on parole in 2009.
Gulshan Kumar was shot dead in August 1997, outside a temple in suburban Andheri. According to the prosecution, his business rivals had paid money to gangster Abu Salem to eliminate him. However, the trial court only convicted Rauf and acquitted others as prosecution could not prove the conspiracy charge.