On Saturday, the Delhi High Court (HC) upheld the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to three men namely Runeet Gulathi, Abhay Dewan and Jatin for kidnapping an acquaintance and burning his body after murdering him. Apart from them, the court ordered Dewan’s wife Mahima to surrender in 4 weeks. She would have to serve a life term for kidnapping for ransom, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy. However, the charges of murder against her were dropped. The HC bench, comprising of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal commented that there was no cogent reason for them to set aside the trial court order.
"In the present case, we find that the act of the appellants (convicts) reflects extreme depravity. It is a case of brutal murder involving the most gruesome and barbaric act. The diabolical manner in which the crime was committed leaves one worried as to the pervert mental state of the accused persons and the brazenness and coldness with which the act was committed in the night hours,” the Bench stated.
According to them, the extent to which the accused went to satisfy their greed was oblivious to the norms of humanity. They observed that human greed was allowed to take such a demonic form on the occasion. The three men were found guilty of murder, kidnapping for ransom, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.
The prosecution stated that Dewan, a property dealer along with his wife and friends Gulati and Jatin kidnapped and murdered Shivam Kapoor in July 2012. The accused allegedly planned to extort Rs.25,00,000 from Kapoor’s parents to settle their debts. Shot in the abdomen, Kapoor’s half-burnt body was recovered by the police. The accused contended that they were being falsely implicated in the case. On the other hand, Delhi HC said that the chain of circumstances was complete. This implies that no other person other than the appellants could have committed the murder.
(With agency inputs)