New Delhi: A Delhi court has sent three men to life imprisonment for killing a person and trying to burn his body, but refused to award them death sentence saying it did not fall in the rarest of rare category.
Additional Sessions Judge Chandra Shekhar handed down the jail term to Bhola, Madan Mohan and Ajay Kumar Mishra for killing Anil following a dispute over money and trying to destroy evidence.
The court noted that they were not previous offenders and the crime was not committed in a manner so as to arouse intense and extreme indignation of the community.
"It seems that though all murders are cruel in nature. The difference between one case of murder and the other is marked by the manner and mode in which it is committed and the effect it makes on the psyche of the society as a whole.
"It seems that facts of the present case are not covered within the illustrations or under the category of rarest of rare cases," the judge said.
"The murder was committed but in facts and circumstances of the present case, it cannot be said that it was committed in an extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting or dastardly manner so as to arouse intense and extreme indignation of the community," the judge said.
It also noted that the convicts' conduct in jail and during trial was unquestioned.
"... Therefore, it seems that the judicial record does not suggest any special compelling circumstances warranting death sentence against convicts and it seems that it shall be in the interest of justice if life sentence is warranted against them for the offence under section 302 (murder) of IPC," it said.
The court also noted that the trio "had turned inimical towards Anil after he asked Madan to return his money".
It also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each while holding them guilty saying the evidence were clearly pointing against them and relied on testimony of the victim's brother who had last seen Anil with the accused.
"The evidence on judicial record are clearly pointing out against accused persons and it seems they cannot be called innocent as Sunil (victim's brother) has deposed that he saw his deceased brother in the company of the accused....
"He has also given reasons as to why the accused were having grudge against his deceased brother which provides motive for committal of murder," it noted.
According to prosecution, Anil was with the trio on the night of February 2, 2012 when a quarrel broke out among them after Anil demanded the money he had loaned to Madan.
A complaint was lodged by the victim's brother after he did not return home the next day, it said, adding that he took the police to Bhola's house where the body was found.