Confession has not been placed before the TADA court, says defence counsel
Salem remanded to judicial custody till January 31 Confession recorded: prosecution
MUMBAI: Extradited underworld don Abu Salem has confessed to his role in the Pradeep Jain murder case, said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. However, the contents of the confession have not been placed before the TADA court hearing the trial.
During the court proceedings, Abu Salem was remanded to judicial custody till January 31 by the designated TADA court. The other three accused were remanded to police custody.
Mr. Ujjwal Nikam said the confession has been recorded but not yet placed before the judge. He said it would take some time to do so. Salem has reportedly also confessed to his role in the serial blasts case. Under the provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, a confession is admissible unlike under the Indian Penal Code.
Regarding the confession, defence lawyer Ashok Sarogi said that he had met Salem on Monday and till then he had not recorded any confession. "How can they say he has confessed within one day? Salem maintained that he was innocent and did not express any wish to confess when I spoke to him. Once we receive anything in writing we will see what legal course to follow. As of now no details about the said confession have been placed before the court."
In the Jain murder case, prosecution requested for judicial custody of Abu Salem and also requested if he could reserve the plea for further police remand in future. However, special judge P.V. Bavkar replied that there is no such provision but he could apply later if need be. He also informed the court that reports of narco analysis and lie detector tests conducted on Salem in Bangalore were awaited.
The other two accused, Naeem Khan and Mehendi Hasan, were remanded to police custody till January 17. There was no defence lawyer to represent them. The third accused Virendra Kumar Jhamb was remanded to police custody till January 12. Defence lawyers for Salem advocate Ashok Sarogi and Harjot Singh also submitted bail application, which will be heard on January 12. Two unidentified gunmen shot builder Pradeep Jain on March 7, 1995 outside his house Brij Kamal in Juhu, a western suburb of Mumbai. Salem has been charged with conspiracy under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (prevention) Act in this case.
In the blasts case Salem was remanded to judicial custody till January 5. On January 5 the court will hear the application of the CBI seeking Salem's custody for further investigation.