Dismissed Chandigarh Police constable Basant Singh alias Bunty (26) and his beloved Sarita Rani (23) would spend their entire life in jail for murdering UT police inspector Sucha Singh.
Unimpressed by the plea of the prosecution seeking capital punishment, the court held, "Though the convicts have taken the life of a sober and meritorious police officer, keeping in view the entire facts, circumstances, age and antecedents of the accused, the court does not feel that this case falls under gravest of the grave or rarest of the rare case."
Pronouncing the order, the court said, "Bunty, once part of the disciplined force, has spoiled his life by killing the senior police officer."
Seeking capital punishment, public prosecutor termed Bunty as "danger for society" by citing the triple murder case registered against him at Sonepat. The public prosecutor claimed that Bunty had committed same offence again, and had killed four persons thus his previous conduct should also be considered.
However, the defence counsel submitted that "previous conduct of the accused cannot be taken into account while deciding the present case. Nothing has been proved in the case registered at Sonepat."
Sucha (57) was done to death by Bunty, while home guard volunteer Jatinder Singh sustained injuries on intervening night of June 7 and 8. The duo was to catch a bus from Sector 17 when Sucha and Jatinder, who were on night patrolling, had questioned them. Irked over being asked to move to police station by Sucha, Bunty had stabbed him six times.
Quantum of sentence
Bunty and Sarita have been awarded life term for murder (section 302), seven-year jail for robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt (397), and two-year jail for voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty (332). All sentences will run concurrently. The court imposed a fine of Rs 29,000 on Sarita and Rs 32,000 on Bunty.
Bunty has also been awarded three-year jail under the Arms Act.
I'll be killed in jail, transfer me to Sonepat: Bunty
Just before pronouncing the sentence, Bunty requested the court to transfer him to Sonepat jail. "My plea needs to be decided before you punish me. I would be killed in the Chandigarh jail," said Bunty, claiming to be innocent and being falsely implicated in the case.
"As a matter of prestige, the UT police had booked me. There was no identification parade and the witnesses were shown pamphlet released by the Sonepat authorities and thus I was identified as accused," said Bunty, adding that he would be filing an appeal against this order soon.
We weren't in Chandigarh when murder took place: Sarita
Speaking for the first time, Sarita pleaded innocence before the court. "We were not in Chandigarh when the police claimed that we had killed the cop," said Sarita, who is seven-month pregnant. Apart from this brief prayer before the court, all questions from mediapersons fell on deaf ears.
Finally, justice done: Sucha's son
"We are happy that finally justice has been done. The convicts would spend entire life in jail for killing my father and maybe one day they realise what they had done in their madness," said Parminder Singh alias Prince, Sucha's son.
We are missing Sucha: IGP
"We are missing Sucha Singh with heavy heart as he sacrificed his life on duty. As a matter of tribute, the investigation was completed in real time and culprits were taken to task. The case of providing job to his son has also been forwarded to the ministry of home affairs for consideration," said UT IGP RP Upadhyaya.