Monday, December 5, 2022

Delhi High Court upholds life imprisonment of man who shot dead DU student in 2011

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The Delhi High Court on Monday upheld a trial court order awarding life imprisonment to a man who shot dead a Delhi University student in broad daylight in March 2011 for allegedly snubbing him and rejecting his advances.

The Division Bench comprising Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal was dealing with the appeal filed by one Vijay Saini challenging the October 2017 order passed by the Trial Court awarding the sentence of life imprisonment for an offence punishable under Section 302 Indian Penal Code, one year rigorous imprisonment for an offence under Section 25(1B)(a) Arms Act and rigorous imprisonment for 3 years for offence under Section 27(1) Arms Act.

Saini was apprehended in connection with the murder of a Delhi University student at the Dhaula Kuan foot overbridge in broad daylight.

The prosecution submitted that Saini was constantly stalking the deceased and in lieu thereof, was also beaten up by the father of the deceased and two residents of the village where the girl stayed, a few years prior to the incident.

Relying on the material on record, the bench dismissed the appeal by observing that the prosecution was able to prove Saini’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The bench relied on the testimonies of two witnesses who, though had not seen the incident taking place, saw Saini at the spot soon after the incident.

“Even though there were no direct eye witnesses at the point of shooting the deceased, the res gestae evidence of PW-5 and PW-9 was consistent in that both had heard a sound of a fire shot and both had seen the girl on the ramp of the flyover and while one had seen a boy standing next to her with something hidden under his shirt, other had seen a boy running away with pistol in his hand. Both had identified the appellant in front of the police and then in the Court and being independent and not interested witnesses, they had no ground or reason to falsely implicate the appellant,” observed the bench.

The bench further relied on the testimonies of the two locals who stayed in the village of the deceased and had beaten up Saini few years prior to the incident for stalking the deceased.

The bench also took note of Saini’s subsequent conduct inasmuch as he tried to abscond immediately after the incident and the subsequent recovery of the weapon of offence at his instance.

In light thereof, the bench dismissed the appeal noting, “This Court finds that the guilt of the appellant for the murder of the deceased has been proved beyond reasonable doubt and duly supported by circumstantial evidence by the prosecution. Consequently, this Court finds no error in the impugned judgment of conviction and order on sentence by the learned Trial Court.”

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