High court upholds death penalty for threeMay 30th, 2008 - 10:12 pm ICT by admin
Chandigarh, May 30 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana high court Friday upheld a sessions court judgement sentencing three people, including a young woman, to death for kidnapping and murdering a 16-year-old schoolboy in Hoshiarpur town of Punjab in 2005. A division bench of the high court ruled that the death penalty for the three accused, who had killed the boy, Abhi Verma, in cold blood after kidnapping him on way to school Feb 14, 2005, fell in the rarest of rare cases.
All the three people were earlier sentenced to death by the district and sessions court in Hoshiarpur town, 140 km from here, for murdering Verma.
Handing down the death sentence in Dec 2006 to the three accused - Vikram Walia, Jasbir Singh and his wife Sonia, district and sessions judge G.K. Rai observed that the three had premeditated the kidnapping and murder of the innocent boy.
They were held guilty of kidnapping and murdering Verma while he was in their custody. Verma was kidnapped in a car while on way to his school.
The kidnapping was masterminded by Vikram, who knew the boy’s family closely. The boy died in their custody after they injected an overdose of tranquilizer.
The sensational incident had shocked Hoshiarpur town and resulted in violence there.
Verma’s kidnappers demanded a ransom of Rs.5 million from his family and even as negotiations were on, his naked body was dumped near Adampur town, 20 km from here.
The mastermind, Vikram, even met Abhi’s businessman father after the kidnapping to know what was happening in the boy’s home.
Even though his kidnappers knew that he was already dead, they continued to seek the ransom from his family.
Vikram, Jasbir and Sonia had planned the kidnapping to become rich with the ransom money. However, things went out of their hands after the tranquilizer shot administered to the boy became fatal.
They had tried to drug him as he knew Vikram and would have identified him when released after the ransom had been paid by his family.
The police was able to track down Verma’s killers within days of his murder.