Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jammu: 2 given death penalty for killing five persons in 2006

MAR 4, 2015 | 12 JUMADAL ULA 1436 AH Press Trust of India

Jammu, Feb 12: A court here has awarded death sentence to two persons for “remorselessly” killing five people including a local businessman, his wife and daughter in 2006, noting the case falls under the rarest of the rare category. Principal and Sessions judge Jammu, R S Jain, awarded death penalty to Sangram Pardhi and Nanju yesterday and directed that the sentence of conviction imposed upon the accused be submitted to the High Court. Death penalty by a local court is subject to the confirmation of High Court.

On the intervening night of September 17 and 18 in 2006, five people including the cement tycoon Rajinder Bhushan Chopra, his wife Madhu Chopra, daughter Saloni, driver Jagan and helper Sonu were murdered in what was believed to be a case of business rivalry. The court observed that defence’s argument that the accused had no prior conviction carried no weight. “There is another significant aggravating factor. The accused killed vulnerable persons including a housewife and young girl. The counsel for accused has referred to mitigating factors.

One of the mitigating factors is that the accused have no previous convictions. That is a little weight in a murder of this gravity. The horror of what happened is all too apparent,” the order read. The court observed that the murders were premeditated and an extensive planning was done before the crime. “There is extensive premeditation and planning of both of them that they entered the house of the deceased Rajinder Bhushan Chopra when there was no reason for them to do so.

On February 2, the court had acquitted four other accused including a former Member of Legislative Council (MLC) of National Conference (NC) in the case. Former MLC Tarlochan Singh Wazir, his brother Ajaib Singh, Nagar Singh and Raju Simblia were let off by the court. “Having done so, both the accused either by themselves or with unknown persons tortured the inmates of the house which included a house wife namely Madhu Chopra and her younger daughter in a cruel and horrific manner,” Judge R S Jain wrote in the judgement yesterday. The judge said that the accused killed the five persons “in one go and remorselessly” which reflected their “maniacal nature and disregard for human life.

Source: [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

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