Twenty-nine years after three policemen burnt a theft case accused to death in custody, the Delhi High Court on Friday upheld the life sentence handed out to them by a trial court.
Dismissing the appeals filed by former head constable Narender Kumar and constables Om Prakash and Vijay Kumar, the court cancelled their bail and directed the police to take them into custody immediately.
On August 1, 1980, the policemen posted with the Subzi Mandi police station had picked up one Laxman Singh for interrogation in connection with some theft cases. He was kept confined in the local police post for five days before he was burnt to death.
Singh’s dying declaration was crucial in convicting the policemen. He had said while Narendar Kumar poured kerosene over him, the others lit the match stick. The trial court had convicted them for murder and acting with common intention.
“The appellants with pre-determination had put the deceased on fire knowing this would result in his death,” said a bench of Justice V .B. Gupta and B .D. Ahmed said while dismissing their appeal.
“The fact that the deceased was kept in illegal custody in police post for five days has also been duly proved on record... all three appellants have rightly been convicted...”.