"Though he deserves death, I am bound to seek a life sentence," said Deepak Salvi, CBI's special public prosecutor.
Salvi also sought lifer for Riyaz Siddiqui, held guilty under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act for abetment of the blasts.
What laws prohibit death for Salem?
Salem was accused as "one of the main conspirators" of the serial blasts that killed 257 and injured over 700.
However, in 2005, he was extradited from Portugal. Under the Extradition Act, Salem cannot be awarded the death penalty.
But Salvi listed aggravating circumstances against Salem, saying they could make a case for death penalty even if it is forbidden in the present circumstances.
Stringent punishment sought for Riyaz Siddiqui
Salvi sought life sentence, the maximum prescribed punishment, for Riyaz, who remained "willfully absconding". Next, Salem's defence counsel Sudeep Pasbola will begin arguments on mitigating factors for his client and Taher Merchant. Meanwhile, the court denied a week to Feroz Khan "to prepare" his arguments.