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SC upholds Monica Bedi's conviction in fake passport case

November 09, 2010 12:58 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of actress Monica Bedi, girlfriend of underworld don Abu Salem, in the fake passport case, but reduced her sentence to the period of jail term she had already undergone.

A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar rejected Monica's plea that she could not be convicted in India as it would amount to 'double jeopardy' since she had been convicted by the Portugal court for the same offence.

The apex court, however, reduced her sentence to the period of imprisonment she had already undergone (two-and-half years).

The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing Monica's appeal challenging her conviction. The apex court also upheld the conviction of two other co-accused in the case.

Monica Bedi, 35, was extradited from Portugal along with Salem on the basis of an undertaking given by the previous National Democratic Alliance government that the underworld don would not be awarded the death penalty in India.

The undertaking was given by then deputy prime minister L K Advani and then minister of state for external affairs Omar Abdullah.

Salem, 42, a key accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case in Mumbai, has been lodged in a Mumbai jail since his extradition from Portugal in 2005. He is facing trial in nine cases, including two murder cases.

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