Drug addict gets life term for killing handicapped friend

A drug addict has been handed life imprisonment by a Delhi court for killing his handicapped friend for denying him smack.

Updated: Aug 05, 2012, 10:58 AM IST

New Delhi: A drug addict has been handed life imprisonment by a Delhi court for killing his handicapped friend for denying him smack.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau passed the sentence on drug addict Bantoo, dismissing his pleas for leniency and saying that a person cannot be allowed to kill another to satisfy his "physical cravings."

Considering the international practice of reforming addicts, the court, however, directed the jail superintendent to provide him de-addiction treatment.

"It is essential for the drug addicts to recognise that their addictive behaviour is on some level a choice and that they can choose differently," the court said while refusing Bantoo`s plea for leniency.

The court, however, said the conviction cannot come in the way of reforming and providing de-addiction treatment to those held guilty for the heinous crime.

"World over, those convicted of addiction-related crimes are ordered into treatment as part of their sentences...," the court said.

According to police, 37-year-old Bantoo had murdered his handicapped drug addict friend Shyam after he refused to give him smack in March last year.

Both Bantoo and Shyam used to resort to begging in near Mahender Park in North West Delhi and buy smack from its proceeds.

The case dates back to March 18, 2011, when Bantoo came to Shyam`s house and took him along with him to a nearby public toilet, where they used to take the drug regularly, despite protests by Shyam`s mother.

The police said the accused stabbed the victim thrice in his stomach on his refusal to give him smack.

The court held Bantoo guilty of murdering Shyam on the testimony of victim`s mother who said she had seen them going to the public toilet together and the accused was also carrying a knife.

She had told the court that after some time she heard Bantoo shouting that he had stabbed Shyam as he was not giving him smack and he ran away from the spot.

Bantoo, however, was caught by the victim`s brother who handed him over to the police.

The convict sought leniency saying he was illiterate, a beggar and was heavily addicted to smack.

The judge, however, refused leniency on the ground that he himself was responsible for his behaviour.

"No blanket licence can be given to a person to kill another to satisfy his physical cravings and then to claim the benefit of his having done so in a state of addiction," the court said.

During the trial, Bantoo was given medical treatment for his addiction and it is still continuing.