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HT Explainer | All you need to know about Aditya Sachdeva murder case

Rocky Yadav, son of suspended JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi, and two others have been handed life imprisonment in the murder case of Class 12 student Aditya Sachdeva in Gaya.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2017 20:52 IST
Ruchir Kumar and Alok Mohit
Rocky Yadav and other accused coming out of the court after the verdict in the Aditya Sachdeva murder case.
Rocky Yadav and other accused coming out of the court after the verdict in the Aditya Sachdeva murder case.(HT photo/Rajesh Kumar)

The murder case of Class 12 student Aditya Sachdeva, 19, saw some twists and turns before a Gaya district court, after 15 months, on Wednesday sentenced Rakesh Ranjan Yadav alias Rocky Yadav, son of suspended JD(U) MLC Manorama Devi, and two others to life imprisonment. His father Bindeshwar Prasad Yadav alias Bindi Yadav was also handed a five-year jail term for shielding the accused in the teenager’s murder.

Hindustan Times brings to you five things you need to know about the case:

WHAT IS THE ADITYA SACHDEVA MURDER CASE:

May 7, 2016: Aditya Sachdeva, a class 12 student of Nazareth Academy, Gaya, and four other friends — Mohammed Naseer, Ankit Agrawal, Ayush Kumar and Mohammed Kaif — had gone to Bodh Gaya from Gaya, a distance of about 14 kms, to attend a birthday celebration. On return, Aditya and his friends, travelling in a Maruti Swift Dzire vehicle, allegedly ignored signals to let Rocky’s Range Rover overtake on a narrow road. This infuriated the MLC’s son, who chased down the vehicle and – despite pleas for mercy – roughed up the driver (Md Naseer) of the Dzire. It was when the five tried to escape that Rocky sprayed the car with bullets, one of which killed Aditya – son of a prominent Gaya businessman. Naseer drove the car straight to the Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College, where doctors declared Aditya dead.

POLICE ACTION:

May 8, 2016: The Rampur police station in Gaya lodged an FIR in which Bindi Yadav, his son Rocky Yadav nephew Tenny Yadav, besides MLC wife Manorama Devi’s bodyguard Rajesh Kumar were made accused. Tenny and Rajesh were travelling with Rocky in his Land Rover. The same evening, Bindi Yadav and bodyguard Rajesh were arrested. During raid on the MLC’s residence in Gaya, police recovered Baretta pistol (the weapon used in the crime) and six bottles of liquor, prohibited in Bihar after it was declared a dry state on April 5, 2016.

May 10, 2016: Police raided Bindi Yadav’s construction unit in Gaya and arrested prime accused Rocky Yadav in the wee hours.

June 6, 2016: Gaya police submitted chargesheet in district court.

POLITICAL ACTION:

May 10, 2016: As the BJP-led opposition raised a sting over deteriorating law and order situation in the state, the JD(U) suspended its MLC Manorama Devi after liquor bottles were found in her house and the government moved to arrest the legislative council member. Devi subsequently surrendered in a Gaya court on May 17 for violating the prohibition law. She was released on bail on June 16.

LEGAL ACTION:

During the trial, three judges in the lower court got transferred. The prosecution lawyer was also changed once. The six eyewitnesses — Aditya’s friends Naseer, Ankit, Ayush and Kaif; Manorama Devi’s bodyguard Rajesh and Bindi Yadav’s house guard — all turned hostile.

The court of additional district judge 1 Sachidanand Singh relied on circumstantial evidence, based on mobile tower locations and call detail record (CDR) of the accused persons, and forensic science laboratory (FSL) findings, which proved the bullets that killed Aditya were fired from the Baretta pistol, recovered from MLC Manorama Devi’s residence.

The defence engaged Supreme Court lawyer Surendra Singh to defend the accused in the trial court during the last leg of arguments. The defence remained in denial mode and refuted all charges levelled against the accused. The defence told the court that the FSL and CDR evidence was not sufficient to prove the charges levelled against the accused. It said the police and the prosecution had produced in court CDRs of 18 mobile phones of which none was registered in the name of any of the accused. While disputing the FSL reports, the defence counsel said the FSL report had no specific date of shots being fired from the same pistol. Whether it was fired on May 7, 2016 (date of the murder) or on some other day, was not clear in the FSL report, it pointed out.

Chronology of how the case went:
  • June 30, 2016:Court takes cognizance of the chargesheet
  • Oct 19, 2016: The Patna high court grants bail to Rocky
  • Oct 28, 2016: The Supreme court overturns Patna HC order, cancels bail
  • Oct 29, 2016: Rocky surrenders in Gaya court, sent to jail
  • Nov 21, 2016:Charges framed against all the accused
  • Dec 19, 2016: One of the bodyguards of Manorama Devi deposes
  • Jan 6, 2017: Another bodyguard TN Singh deposes in court
  • Jan 16, 2017: Aditya’s father Shyam Sundar Sachdeva deposes
  • Jan 30, 2017: Aditya’s mother Chanda Sachdeva deposes
  • July 12, 2017:Aditya’s brother and informant in the case deposes
  • Aug 17, 2017:ADJ Sachchidanand Singh records the statement of the accused
  • Aug 23, 2017: Supreme Court lawyer Surendra Prasad defends the accused in the trial court
  • Aug 25, 2017:Hearing closes and trial court seeks opinion from both the defence and the prosecution
  • Aug 31, 2017:Trial court convicts Rocky, Bindi, Tenny and Rajesh Kumar
  • Sept 6, 2017:Trial court awards life term to Rocky, Tenny and Rajesh Kumar and five-year jail to Bindi.

REACTIONS:

“I am satisfied by the court verdict. Having suffered the loss of our son, my wife and I did not want that another mother (Manorama Devi) should lose her son (Rocky Yadav) and be hanged. The pain and sorrow of losing our son is incomprehensible,” said Shyam Sachdeva, Aditya’s father.

Rocky’s lawyer Kaesar Sarfuddin said they would challenge the verdict in the Patna high court.

(With inputs from Anil Ojha in Gaya)