Abu Salem moves SC, challenges conviction in Pradeep Jain murder case

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 30, 2015 22:06 IST

Extradited gangster Abu Salem has moved the Supreme Court, challenging his conviction under the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) in the Pradeep Jain murder case.

On February 25, the special TADA court had sentenced the gangster to a life term for his key role in the 1993 Jain murder case. The court held that Salem and other accused had, in October 1994, tried to coerce the Jain brothers to surrender their right to the property located at Kol Dongri in Andheri. As the Jains refused to comply with his demands, Salem hatched a plot to kill Pradeep Jain.

Jain was shot dead on March 7, 1995, outside his Juhu bungalow. The family alleged they had been receiving threats from the underworld, demanding extortion money and their property.

Salem, in his appeal, said the order went against the extradition order of the Portugal court. “Salem could not have been convicted for the charge of conspiracy, and also for several charges of MCOCA, as they were not part of the extradition order,” said Saba Qureshi, Salem’s advocate.

Qureshi said when the state had invoked the charge of conspiracy against Salem, they had challenged the move before the Apex court, which is yet to be decided. “The court ought to have waited for the verdict of the Apex court on the point of charge, before convicting him for conspiracy. We have raised all these issues in the appeal filed last week,” said Qureshi.

Qureshi further alleged the conviction order of Salem is based on his and co-accused Mahendi Hassan’s confession, which she said was proved by them as not voluntary.

“The mandatory process of recording the statement was not followed. The duo were not given reflection period of at least 24 hours,” Qureshi said.

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