Mumbai: A month after the special TADA court here sentenced extradited gangster Abu Salem to a life imprisonment in builder Pradeep Jain murder case, he has moved the Supreme Court with an appeal.
Gangster Abu Salem
"We have filed an appeal saying that as per the extradition treaty (with Portugal), the court cannot hand down life imprisonment to Salem," his lawyer Saba Qureshi told PTI.
Under TADA, the appeal is filed directly in the Supreme Court and not the High Court. Judge G A Sanap had noted in his February 25 ruling that the court has to apply the Indian law while the government can exercise its power in the matter of execution of sentence (by commuting it, etc).
Qureshi also said the offence of criminal conspiracy cannot be invoked against Salem. "Moreover, the judgement is based on Salem's confession which he did not give voluntarily," she said.
In January 2012, Portugal's Supreme Court had upheld an order which cancelled Salem's extradition for "violation" of deportation rules by Indian authorities who slapped new charges against him which attract death penalty.
Salem's driver Mehndi Hassan was also given a life imprisonment, while co-accused, builder Virendra Jhamb's sentence was set off against stay in prison as under-trial.
On March 7, 1995, Jain was shot dead in suburban Juhu after he refused to hand over his property to Salem (who was then outside the country).
The court had, in January last year, dropped some charges against Salem after the prosecution said it needed to withdraw them so that India's relations with Portugal were not affected.
Salem, also an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was extradited from Portugal on November 11, 2005.