A youth, who was acquitted in the 2010 Mirchpur Dalit killings case but had escaped from judicial custody during the trial, has been sent to six months in jail by a Delhi court for evading court proceedings.
Jasbir, who had escaped on May 24 last year from the court lock up, was recently acquitted in the main case in which a 70-year-old man and his physically challenged daughter were burnt alive by a mob of over 100 people of an upper caste community at Mirchpur village of Haryana's Hisar district on April 21, 2010.
A farmer by profession, Jasbir, 27, had while pleading guilty explained that his mother was extremely unwell and he had escaped from judicial custody to take care of her.
He had said that after the death of his mother in August this year, he surrendered before the court.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, who had decided the dalit killing case in 2011, had declared Jasbir a proclaimed offender.
He had surrendered before the court on August 28 this year and also pleaded guilty.
The court awarded the jail term of six months to Jasbir for absconding and evading the proceedings and said any harsh view at this stage would be detrimental to the young convict. It also imposed a fine of Rs. 2,000 on him.
"The convict is a young boy and has no previous criminal record. The aggravating factor is that he had escaped from the lock-up (custody of the court) by showing gross indifference and throwing a challenge to the existing legal procedures.
"The mitigating factor is that the convict had allegedly escaped from judicial custody to serve his ailing mother and after his mother had expired, he himself surrendered before this court after conducting her last rites," the judge said.
The prosecutor said a stern view should be taken against the convict as he had challenged the legally constituted judicial system by escaping from the custody when he was in the lock-up of the court.
The court, however, said that the prosecution has not been able to place on record the details of any criminal case pending against Jasbir and admittedly during the period he was absconding, he was not involved in any other violation.
According to prosecution, in the killing case, the mob belonging to an upper caste community had also burnt down 18 dalit houses.
The case was transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court on the plea of the families of the victims.
Fifteen persons were convicted while 82 were acquitted in the case.
In October last year, the court sentenced three persons to life imprisonment while others were sentenced to varying jail terms and fine.