Mumbai: Gangster Abu Salem was today sentenced to life imprisonment by a special TADA court in Mumbai after he was found guilty in the murder of Mumbai realtor Pradeep Jain in 1995.
Ten years after Abu Salem was extradited by Portugal, the Mumbai court pronounced its sentence Wednesday after he was found guilty of murdering Jain.
A former associate of wanted terrorist and mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, the 47-year-old Salem is currently lodged in Taloja Central Jail in adjoining Raigad district.
Gangster Abu Salem
The TADA court sentenced Salem to life imprisonment under various IPC and TADA acts with a fine of Rs 8 lakhs.
Salem's former driver Mehendi Hasan was also sentenced to life imprisonment with several IPC and TADA prevention acts.
While builder V K Jhamb, who is wheel-chair bound and has been out on bail, is fined for Rs 5 lakh under Section 386 (Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous) read with 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. Fifty percent of fine money will be given to deceased Pradeep Jain's wife Jyoti Jain.
The special TADA court Judge G A Sanap has sentenced the duo more than a week after they were convicted in the 1995 murder of builder Pradeep Jain.
The Judge has announced the sentencing after hearing both the public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam and defence advocate Sudeep Pasbola who has been presenting their arguments for more than a week.
While at first Nikam sought for death penalty for both Salem and Hasan, he later told court that the death penalty could not be asked against the extradited gangster according to the treaty signed between India and Portugal. He then sought for sentence of life imprisonment until the end of Salem’s natural life.
However, Pasbola during his arguments told the court that the treaty says that Salem could be punished for only a total of 25 years’ imprisonment under all nine cases in which he was charged. While for Hasan, Pasbola told the court that on basis of parity, he could not be given the death sentence as the sharpshooters convicted earlier were only given life imprisonment.
The Judge earlier said, "The evidence adduced by the prosecution is concrete, cogent and reliable. It was proved that the conspiracy was hatched in Dubai in October/November 1994 by Salem, Khan, Hasan and wanted accused Anees Kaskar and Shaukat Mistry."
However, the court had relied on the retracted confessions of Salem and Hasan, and said that it was corroborative evidence to the proof provided by accused turned approver Naeem Khan for the conviction.