Life term to 4 for killing mother-daughter duo upheld



New Delhi: The life sentence given to four persons for killing a woman and her daughter, both Supreme Court lawyers, over six years ago has been upheld by the Delhi High Court.

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and S P Garg upheld the trial court's judgement, dismissing the appeal of convicts Bhasker Mahalik, Bhagwan Mahalik, Niranjan Mahalik and Jagbandhu Dass, who had killed the two women after committing a robbery in their house.

"The robbery and the murder have been proved beyond any reasonable doubt. The circumstantial evidence categorically establishes involvement of all the accused for commission of robbery and murder. The robbed articles were recovered by the police from possession of the accused and at their instance from their places of residence.

"A legitimate presumption can safely be drawn under section 114 (a) of the Evidence Act that the appellants did not only take part in the robbery but also in the murder of the deceased," the bench said.

"The circumstances establish beyond doubt that the accused in furtherance of common intention committed the crime and were the perpetrators. They did not examine any witness in defence to demolish the prosecution case," the court added.

The trial court had convicted the four in December 2010 for killing Swarna Mahajan and her daughter, Anuradha Mahajan, who were practising lawyers in the Supreme Court, in their house after committing robbery.

It, however, acquitted fifth accused Surendra Pal, who had allegedly accepted the robbed articles from the four convicts, for want of sufficient evidence.

The convicts had trespassed into the house of the victims at Siddharth Enclave in South Delhi on intervening night of March 11-12, 2006 and had stolen valuables including jewellery, cash and mobile phones from the house and had killed the two women.

PTI