gets life imprisonment
Mumbai, December 18: A sessions court on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to Pravin Mahajan for the murder of his elder brother and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan.
The prosecution, however, pushed for the maximum penalty – death on the grounds that Pravin has a very “cold attitude” towards the entire episode.
Pravin was pronounced guilty by Additional Sessions Judge S P Daware on Monday. The court rejected the defence’s theory of “accidental firing leading to accidental death” as opposed to homicidal death.
Although Pravin, in his
deposition, had spoken of a “scuffle” between him and
To begin with, the Judge observed, Pravin had come to Pramod’s house early in the morning armed with a gun, when he (Pramod) was vulnerable. The judge also reasoned that if it was indeed a case of accidental firing, Pravin should have at least taken his brother, who was “like a father to him”, to hospital.
The Judge observed that if it was indeed accidental firing, blood from Pramod’s body should have splattered on Pravin. Since no blood marks were found, the theory was not tenable, the Judge said.
But the Judge also disbelieved the motive that the prosecution had ascribed to the murder — greed of money.
Witness Rekha Mahajan (Pramod’s wife) first introduced the motive of “greed of money” when she was being cross-examined almost a year after the murder. The judge decided that the motive, as proposed by the prosecution, was “an afterthought”.
Pramod was shot at by Pravin at the former’s Worli residence on April 22 last year. The BJP leader died at Hinduja hospital a few days later.
Lapses committed by the police, according to Judge S P Daware:
* When Pravin surrendered
himself before the Worli police, his gun was handled by the duty officer
with his bare hand. The fingerprints of Pravin could not be detected by
the fingerprint expert because of this error.
* Pravin had reportedly “confessed” his crime before the police, which was recorded in the first information report (FIR). The judge observed that if his statement admitting guilt was recorded before the magistrate, it would have been admissible in court. A police statement, on the other hand, is not admissible.
* Three chargesheets were
filed regarding various aspects introduced by the prime witnesses—Rekha
Mahajan and Gopinath Munde. A shadow of doubt was cast over the motive
because of the time-lapse of almost one year. This could have been avoided
had the police asked relevant questions while recording statement, the
What should be the Punishment of Pravin mahajan.Rajesh Chopra. LiveIndia.com 04.05.2006 Delhi.
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