Man sentenced to death for killing neighbour to sell his house

A city court has awarded life sentence to a 46-year-old man who had poisoned his neighbour to death and buried his body in his own house so that he could sell the victim`s house.

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2011, 16:04 PM IST

New Delhi: A city court has awarded life
sentence to a 46-year-old man who had poisoned his neighbour
to death and buried his body in his own house so that he could
sell the victim`s house.

Additional Sessions Judge B S Chumbak convicted Mange
Ram, a tea shop owner, on the basis of circumstantial
evidence, holding that though none had seen him commit the
crime, deposition by witnesses showed that he had enough
motive to kill his neighbour.
"Considering the circumstances that the body of the
deceased was recovered from the accused`s house at his
instance coupled with the fact that the agreement for sale of
the house of the deceased was executed by him with witness
Satyavir in the presence of other witness Dhiyan Singh clearly
establishes the motive to commit the offence," the court held.

While awarding the life term to Mange Ram, the court,
however, dismissed the prosecution`s plea to impose death
penalty on him, saying, "It was not the rarest of the rare
crime" to warrant capital punishment.

Mange Ram, a resident of Sonia Vihar, had murdered his
neighbour Hari Ram by administering pesticide and buried his
body in his room.

The probe into the case was launched on a complaint by
the son of the deceased on April 21, 2008, saying that his
father had gone missing.

Investigations revealed that Hari Ram was last seen with
Mange Ram, who was arrested on April 27 from near Khajuri Khas
Pushta Road at Karawal Nagar, where he ran his tea shop.

During interrogation, Mange Ram disclosed that he had
taken an earnest money of Rs 50,000 to sell Hari Ram`s plot to
one Bhagwan Dass. He killed Hari Ram as he was repeatedly
demanding the money which he did not intend to return.

He invited Hari Ram at his house on April 14 on some
pretext and served him water which had pesticide used to kill
rats. After drinking the water, Hari fell unconscious and
later died.
Mange Ram confessed to the police that he had buried the
body in his rented house. The police, at his instance,
recovered a decomposed body which was identified as that of
Hari. The post-mortem report assessed the timing of Hari`s
death as two weeks before the recovery of the body.

Mange Ram, however, pleaded innocence at the time of
framing of charges against him and claimed trial, during which
a total of 18 prosecution witnesses were examined.

Hari Ram`s son Raju and daughter Asha told the court that
they had come to meet their father on April 14, when the
accused came to their house and took him along.

Asha later left for her matrimonial house while Raju left
for Mayur Vihar, where he used to stay for work. When Raju
returned home on April 21, his father was missing.

During the search for his father, he came to know about
the Rs 50,000 which had been paid as earnest money by one
Dhiyan Singh on behalf of Bhagwan Dass to Mange Ram for the
sale of his father`s plot.

Bhagwan Dass told the court that he was introduced to
Mange Ram by Dhiyan Singh and the trio had gone to see the
plot at Sonia Vihar and he had given the money to Singh to
pass it on to Mange Ram.

He told the court that Dhiyan Singh had later called him
up to pay the balance money to Mange Ram, but as Mange Ram was
not quite forthcoming to execute documents for sale of the
plot, he made enquiries and came to know that the plot was
owned by Hari Ram.