Delhi High Court on Tuesday upheld the life sentence awarded to Ranjit Singh Gill, alias Kukki, for the murder of former Congress MP Lalit Maken over 23 years ago.
Maken, son-in-law of late President Shankar Dayal Sharma, was an MP from South Delhi. The MP, wife Geetanjali and a securityman were killed at their Kirti Nagar residence on July 31, 1985. He was also related to minister of state for urban development Ajay Maken.
A bench of Justices Mukul Mudgal and P.K. Bhasin dismissed the appeal by Gill, presently on bail, challenging the trial court’s 2003 conviction and directed police to take him into custody immediately. The trial court had said Maken was killed to avenge the alleged Sikh genocide after Indira Gandhi’s assasination.
After hearing arguments of both sides, the court had reserved its order in April 2007. The court rejected Gill’s submission that the statement of sole eyewitness Mohamed Salam, a domestic help of the victims’ family, was contradictory and the trial court had ignored this fact. The bench also rejected the argument that Salam, who was nine when the murders took place, identified Gill 15 years later, raising doubts that he was tutored by the prosecution.
Gill had fled to the US after the incident. Two years later, he was arrested and extradited.