A city court on Tuesday convicted a property dealer, who plotted his wife's murder barely four months after their marriage. A contract killer, whom Vijay Pal hired to eliminate his wife, was also convicted.
“The circumstantial evidence against the accused Vijay Pal (property dealer) and Vinod (hired killer) have proved the prosecution case to the hilt and, therefore, I convict both of them for having conspired to kill Rajani and committing her murder,”Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar said. The court acquitted a third accused for want of evidence.
The court is likely to pronounce the quantum of sentence, which may range from death penalty to life imprisonment, on Wednesday.
In a case based on circumstantial evidence as there were no eye-witness to the murder of 26-year-old Rajani, the court lent credence to mobile call records of Vijay Pal who was in touch with hired killer Vinod before and after the killing on the night of August 13, 2001.
Public prosecutor Vinod Kumar alleged Vijay Pal, who owns a property dealing business in Aya Nagar here, wanted to get rid of his wife as she suffering from health problems.
The prosecutor submitted that Vijay Pal, earlier, had not lodged an FIR pertaining to a road accident in which his wife received major injuries and he escaped unhurt.
Rajni died after being shot twice in her head and chest by her husband and the hired killer on August 13, 2001 when she was returning from her parents’ place in Ashok Vihar to her home in south Delhi in a Honda City car.
“On April 1, 2001, the accused took Rajani for outing in an old car, not belonging to him from the house of her parents without disclosing their destination. This car met with an accident....Vijay Pal did not lodge an FIR. No explanation has been offered for this abnormal conduct,” the court said.
The court lent credence to mobile call records of both the convicts and held that no plausible explanation has been given as to why they were in touch with each other on the day of the murder. It took into account the testimony of Rahul Khatri, brother of the deceased, that Vijay Pal had called Vinod on that day.
The sensational killing of Rajani in a moving car in Vasant Vihar had attracted extensive media coverage.
Vijay had contended he had no role in the killing of his wife and she was shot dead by Vinod who tried to rob them near Vasant Vihar when they were returning to their home in Aya Nagar.