New Delhi: Two men, arrested for murdering a merchant navy captain on board a ship in the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil in 2004, have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on Delhi residents Vivek Madhok and Shankar Bhatia, who were cadets and undergoing training courses in M/s Univan Ship Management Ltd in 2004, after convicting them for the offences of murder, common intention and destruction of evidence.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma said both Madhok and Bhatia killed captain Rajan Aggarwal on April 4, 2004 in his cabin in the MV Crimson Galaxy ship in mid-ocean off the coast of Brazil and wrapped his body in a bed sheet and threw it into the high sea to destroy the evidence.
According to the Delhi Police, the ship was loaded with the consignment of soyabean meal and had left San Lorenzo in Argentina on March 29, 2003. It was bound for El Dekhelia in Egypt.
On April 4, 2004, Aggarwal had reprimanded Madhok and Bhatia, who were watching a movie in the ship, for not paying attention to their studies and not completing their allotted work, it said.
Aggarwal had asked them to come to his cabin and during arguments, a scuffle took place between Madhok and Aggarwal and Madhok hit him with a bottle, the police said adding the captain was strangulated and his body was thrown in the sea by both the cadets.
The court, while convicting Madhok and Bhatia, said "although the facts and circumstances established on record by the prosecution demonstrates that there was a sudden fight between the accused persons and captain Rajan Aggarwal and probably there was no pre-meditation to kill the captain."
"...It is palpably a case where accused persons took undue advantage or acted in a cruel and an unusual manner in disposing of the body of deceased captain Rajan Aggarwal to let him die in all human probabilities," it said.