High Court awards life in Congress MP Maken’s murder

February 24th, 2009 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday awarded life sentence to convict Ranjit Singh Gill alias Kukki for the 1985 murder of then Congress MP Lalit Maken.
A bench of Justices Mukul Mudgal and P.K. Bhasin dismissed the appeal filed by Gill, who is presently on bail, challenging the trial court’s 2003 conviction order. The court asked the police to arrest the convict immediately.

Maken, son-in-law of late former president Shankar Dayal Sharma, was an MP from south Delhi when he was murdered in 1985.

After hearing the arguments of the defence and the prosecution, the court had reserved its order in April 2007.

The court rejected Gill’s submission that the statement of sole eye-witness Mohammed Salam, a domestic help of the victims’ family, was controversial and the trial court had ignored this fact.

The bench also rejected the argument that Salam was 9-year-old when the murder took place on July 31, 1985 and it was 15 years later, in 2002, that he identified Gill, raising doubts that he was tutored by the prosecution.

After the murder, Gill had fled to the US. Two years later, through Interpol, he was arrested and lodged in a US jail.

In May 2000, the US court allowed his extradition to India. A sessions court sentenced him to life imprisonment in February 2003 after convicting him for the murder of Maken, his wife Geetanjali and a security man at their Kirti Nagar residence.

According to the prosecution, the Maken couple along with Balkishan were shot dead by five mobike-borne unidentified Sikh young men at the MP’s residence.

The MP’s three year-old daughter was the lone survivor.

Besides Gill, there were four others accused: Sukh Dev, who died in a shootout, Harjinder and Sukhvinder, who were executed in General Vaidya’s murder case and Daljeet Singh who was acquitted by the trial court in 1999 due to lack of evidence against him.

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