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Prosecution now seeks life sentence for Salem in Jain case

The prosecution in the builder Pradeep Jain murder case on Friday changed its stand and demanded life imprisonment for the gangster Abu Salem instead of the death sentence.

“In view of the provision of the Extradition Act, the accused (Salem) may be sent to imprisonment for life,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said in the special TADA court.

On Monday, Salem, his driver Mehendi Hassan and builder Virendra Jhamb were convicted for Jain’s murder in 1995. The court is now hearing arguments on sentence. Earlier, Nikam had sought death sentence for Salem.

Seeking life sentence, on Friday he also argued that the executive assurance (at the time of extradition) does not bind the judicial pronouncement. (The government of India had given an undertaking to Portugal that Salem will neither be given the capital punishment nor a sentence exceeding 25 years).

“The government will discharge its executive assurance at the appropriate time. Government has right to waive sentence after the judicial pronouncement,” he said. Nikam also argued that the government had not given the undertaking to Portugal government on behalf of the judiciary.
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