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High Court upholds life term of 3 in murder case

High Court upholds life term of 3 in murder caseHigh Court upholds life term of 3 in murder case
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The Delhi High Court has upheld the life term awarded to three men for kidnapping an acquaintance for ransom and burning the body after murdering him, saying the horrific act reflects the inhuman extent to which they went to satisfy their greed.

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has upheld the life term awarded to three men for kidnapping an acquaintance for ransom and burning the body after murdering him, saying the horrific act reflects the inhuman extent to which they went to satisfy their greed.

It said the gruesome manner in which Runeet Gulathi, Abhay Dewan and Jatin killed Shivam Kapoor and dealt with his body has shocked the judicial conscience and there was no cogent reason to interfere with the judgement of the trial court holding them guilty of the offence.

"In the present case we find that the act of the appellants (convicts) reflects extreme depravity. It is a case of brutal murder involving most gruesome and barbaric act. The diabolical manner in which crime was committed leaves one worried as to the pervert mental state of the accused persons and the brazenness and coldness with which the act was committed in the night hours," a bench of justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said.

The court said the horrific act reflecting the inhuman extent to which the accused could go to satisfy their greed, being completely oblivious, not only to the norms of the society, but also to the norms of humanity.

It upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of Gulathi, Dewan and Jatin for the offences of murder, kidnapping for ransom, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

The high court, however, set aside the conviction of Dewan's wife Mahima for the offence of murder but upheld her conviction for the offences of kidnapping for ransom, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy and directed her to surrender within four weeks to serve the jail term.

She will also have to undergo life imprisonment for conspiring with others to commit the crime. The court said the convicts committed the ghastly offence highest viciousness wherein the human greed was allowed to take such a demonic form.

According to the prosecution, Dewan, a property dealer, his wife and two friends Gulati and Jatin kidnapped and murdered Shivam Kapoor from whose family they had planned to extort Rs 25 lakh to clear their debts in July 2012 here. Kapoor was shot on his abdomen and forehead and thereafter, his body was burnt, it had said.

Police had recovered his half-burnt body. During the trial, the accused had claimed that they were falsely implicated in the case. While dismissing the appeals of the convicts challenging the trial court's verdict, the high court said the chain of circumstances is complete, which rules out any possibility that there can be any other person than the appellants who had committed the murder.

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