Court allows Indian American killer’s extradition

May 1st, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday dismissed an appeal by Kamlesh Agarwal, who killed his cousin Deepa Agarwal in the US in 1999, paving the way for his extradition to that country to stand trial for the murder. A division bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw dismissed Agarwal’s appeal, in which he had challenged the orders of the lower court allowing his extradition.

Reacting to the judgement, the victim’s father Mangi L. Agarwal told IANS: “After so many years, I am seeing a step moving forward in the right direction”.

Kamlesh has an option of approaching the Supreme Court. “Even if he approaches the apex court, I am expecting a faster proceedings there,” Mangi L. Agarwal said.

Deepa, a 20-year-old student of University of Central Florida, was murdered in her home in Orlando, Florida, by Kamlesh, who fled to India a year later and has been here since.

Her decomposed body was found “sealed” in a cardboard carton in the bedroom closet nine days after the murder.

The autopsy report confirmed the cause of death as fracture of the spine from a blow by a blunt instrument. Several knife wounds were reportedly spotted on the body, suggesting a “violent altercation” before death.

The suspicion fell on Kamlesh, then 22 and studying computer science in the same university.

During the investigation, a neighbour told the police that on the fateful night she heard the sound of a woman screaming from Deepa’s apartments. This was followed by “thumps” - as if “something was being shoved against the wall”.

But before investigators could nab Kamlesh, he fled from the US July 12, 2000.

Two days later, the police in India acting on an Interpol alert arrested him from a hotel in Mumbai where he was staying under the name of Pankaj Saraf.

A month later, a grand jury in the US charged Kamlesh with “first-degree murder” and ordered that he stand trial. In September 2000, the state of Florida forwarded an extradition request to India.

In October 2002, an inquiry report by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate’s court here recommended Kamlesh’s extradition, citing “prima facie” evidence of murder against him.

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