Contract killer, husband get life for wife’s murder (Lead)

June 4th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) A city court Wednesday awarded life term to property dealer Vijay Pal for plotting his wife’s murder and to Vinod, a contract killer, for carrying out the killing. Additional Session Judge Vinod Kumar Tuesday held them guilty under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302 (murder), 397 (robbery) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) for killing Rajni, 26, on the night of Aug 13, 2001.

The court also slapped on them a fine of Rs.2,000 each. It, however, acquitted another accused for want of evidence.

During the arguments on the quantum of sentence, the prosecution demanded death penalty for the two but the court rejected the plea stating that the case did not fall under the category of the ‘rarest of rare’ cases.

According to the prosecution, Rajni was shot dead in a Honda city car by Pal and the hired killer while she was returning from her parents’ house.

Pal, a property dealer in Aya Nagar here, had gone to his father-in-law’s house at Wazirpur to bring his wife back.

Defending himself, Pal had contended that his wife was shot by Vinod during an attempted robbery.

According to the prosecution, Vinod and another accomplice were waiting at the Olof Palme Marg in Vasant Vihar on the night of the incident. At a pre-decided spot, he entered the car and shot Rajni on the forehead from close range. As Rajni collapsed, Pal shot her again in the chest. Then he shot himself in the thigh.

To give credence to the robbery theory, Pal removed some jewellery items from his wife’s body and handed them over to Vinod, who then left the scene along with the other accomplice, by the same name.

Pal had contracted Vinod for Rs.50.000, of which Rs.10,000 was paid in advance.

The prosecution had said that Pal was a womaniser and had affairs even after his marriage.

During interrogation, Pal disclosed he had earlier also tried to kill his wife April 1, 2001.

Pal had taken Rajni in a Maruti car to Gurgaon and near Manesar drove down the wrong carriageway, which resulted in a head-on collision with a truck.

Rajni had sustained several fractures in the limbs and ribs but Pal escaped with superficial injuries.

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