An HIV-positive man, who killed his friend in a drunken brawl in Ashok Vihar two years ago, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau awarded the prison term to the convict, who used to work with Municipal Council of Delhi (MCD) on contract, and also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.
The court refused to allow a plea of public prosecutor Taufiq Ahmed seeking capital punishment for the accused on the grounds that he took law into his hands following a minor dispute.
The court took into account several mitigating factors like the convict is HIV-positive and committed the crime on spur of the moment, under the influence of alcohol, to award him life imprisonment and not capital punishment.
According to rule, murder is punishable either with life imprisonment or death penalty.
"No doubt, all murders are most degrading and depraving but the case in hand certainly does not fall within the category of rarest of rare or least even in category of rare case," the court said.
It also noted that the murder of Rajbir had been committed because he tried to intervene in the quarrel going on between his friend Ravi Kumar and the accused.
The fact that the convict was facing charges in two pending criminal cases also went against him.
The convict, who was inebriated at the time, had hit Rajbir on his neck and face with the help of a broken beer bottle on December 19, 2008, at Ashok Vihar here. Rajbir died after he succumbed to the injuries.
While awarding the sentence to the accused man, the court also directed that a fine of Rs 50,000 be slapped on the accused and the money be paid to the victim's family as compensation.