The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the life conviction of 10 Delhi Police officials including an Assistant Commissioner of Police in the 1997 CP shootout case. Two businessmen had been killed by errant policemen in a fake encounter.
A bench of Justice HS Bedi and Justice CK Prasad dismissed the appeal filed by the 10 policemen, including former ACP SS Rathi, challenging the Delhi High Court verdict that sentenced them all to life imprisonment. The high court had upheld the trial court order pronouncing the accused guilty of the offence.
The high court had on September 18, 2009 upheld the conviction and life sentence of the policemen for killing two Haryana-based businessmen on account of mistaken identity in Connaught Place. It had concurred with the trial court's judgement that had held them guilty of murder on October 24, 2007.
On the afternoon of March 31, 1997, a Delhi Police Crime Branch team led by encounter specialist Rathi had fired indiscriminately on a car on the suspicion that the businessmen were wanted Uttar Pradesh-based gangsters.
However, the team ended up gunning down innocent businessmen Pradeep Goyal and Jagjeet Singh. The team had intercepted the businessmen's car in CP's outer circle and opened fire on it, mistaking one of them as the wanted gangster, Yaseen.
In his appeal, Rathi had that it was not a case of murder committed as per a pre-planned conspiracy. It was a chance occurrence, owing to several coincidences which made the police team arrive at a wrong conclusion, his appeal had said.
The other nine convicts are Inspector Anil Kumar, Sub-Inspector Ashok Rana, Head Constables Shiv Kumar, Tejpal Singh and Mahavir Singh and Constables Sumer Singh, Subhash Chand, Sunil Kumar and Kothari Ram.