Pushkin Chandra killing: Life term for two upheldOctober 31st, 2011 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday upheld the life sentence awarded to two men for murdering United Nations Development Programme employee Pushkin Chandra and his friend Kuldeep in south Delhi in 2004.
Chandra, 38, son of a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, and his friend were found dead at his residence in Anand Lok Aug 13, 2004.
The high court dismissed the appeal filed by Moti, 26, and Rajesh Rekwar, 27, who were awarded life imprisonment by the trial court in 2010 for murder and theft. Rekwar, who was on interim bail, was ordered to be taken into custody.
Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Manmohan Singh said: “The prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellants had committed the murders of Pushkin Chandra and Kuldeep.”
“The circumstances taken together form a complete chain and point only in the direction of guilt of the two appellants. The appellant Rajesh Rekwar is on interim bail which was granted to him on account of his medical condition. He be taken into custody to serve out the rest of his sentence. The appellant Moti is already in custody,” the bench said in its 31-page judgment.
Additional Sessions Judge A.K. Kuhar sentenced Moti and Rekwar and imposed a fine of Rs.3,000 on each of them.
“It is clear that the prosecution has been able to establish that both the appellants were definitely with Pushkin Chandra and Kuldeep at the time of incident, which was also supported by one of the witnesses in the case,” the bench observed.
“The use of the ICICI Bank credit card of Pushkin Chandra and the two withdrawals of Rs.15,000 each at two different ATMs after Pushkin Chandra was already dead also establishes the fact that not only were the deceased murdered but that the credit card had also been stolen,” said the bench, adding that both the appellants avoided participation in identification parade.
The trial court acquitted for lack of proof Munna and Jai Kishore, who were accused of being involved in “destruction of evidence” and “keeping the stolen property”.
While awarding sentence to Rekwar and Moti, the trial court relied on witness Hare Ram, the domestic help of Chandra’s father. Ram identified both the accused as the people last seen with Chandra and Kuldeep.
According to the prosecution, Ram was the first to discover the bodies and the last to have seen the victims alive. He was one of the 37 prosecution witnesses who deposed before the court.
“Chandra’s belongings, including a DVD player, that were recovered by police from Rekwar’s house also formed the basis of his conviction. The prosecution had also produced photographs clicked at an ATM in which Rekwar was seen withdrawing cash using Chandra’s ATM cards,” the charge sheet said.
Rekwar in his disclosure statement claimed that Pushkin Chandra used to pick him and Moti from Connaught Place in central Delhi to have sex with them.
Pornographic tapes of men engaged in same-sex activity were recovered from the murder scene. Pushkin Chandra’s car and several other belongings were missing, the prosecution said.
The bench, while rejecting the appeal of Moti and Rekwar, also found that stains of blood group ‘B’ on Rekwar’s trousers matched the blood group of Kuldeep. All these circumstances taken together clearly established the complicity of both the appellants.
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