Romesh Sharma, five others get life terms for designer’s murderFebruary 18th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) A city court Monday sentenced Romesh Sharma, an alleged associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, to life term for hatching conspiracy to murder his fashion designer girlfriend Kunjum Budhiraja in 1999. Additional Sessions Judge S.P. Garg held Sharma and five others - his nephew Surinder Mishra, Hemchand, Santram, Ramesh and Dolly - guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment for entering into conspiracy to eliminate Budhiraja.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs.50,000 on Sharma, Rs.5,000 each on Surinder and Dolly, and Rs.1,000 each to Hemchand, Santram and Ramesh.
Sharma and five others had been held guilty last week. They were convicted under Sections 302 (murder), 34 (common intention) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Special Prosecutor S.K. Saxena had demanded death penalty to all the accused but the judge refuted all the arguments of the prosecution.
In a 175-page judgement, Garg cited circumstantial evidence as the vital reason for convicting the six accused.
“I have gone through the contents of all the letters written by Kunjum and found that she was having love and affection for Sharma,” the judge said in the order.
He further stated that the contents of all those letters supported the prosecution in establishing the relationship between the deceased and Sharma.
However, the court acquitted Sonu in absence of evidence. “Prosecution has failed to take the call details and fingerprints of the accused, so there is no evidence which proves that she is involved,” the judge said.
Kunjum was murdered on March 20, 1999. The prosecution had told the court that Kunjum was murdered by people engaged by Mishra at Sharma’s farmhouse near here when she visited it.
During the investigation, it was allegedly found that Mishra, Dolly and Sonu wanted to get rid of Budhiraja as they felt that while they were taking care of Sharma and attending to his court cases, he (Sharma) was giving away his property to her.
Sharma has been in judicial custody since 1999 and is facing trial in as many 16 criminal cases.