The MP High Court's principal bench in Jabalpur on Thursday awarded death penalty to Mukhtar Malik and Asif Mamu, and life imprisonment to Muzaffar Husain alias Munne Painter and eight others in the 1996 shootout case in the Bhopal district court in which three persons were killed.
While announcing the death penalty, the bench observed that Mukhtar and Asif, against whom a number of criminal cases are pending, had become menace to the society and the crime they committed in the court precincts fell in a category of the 'rarest of rare' case.
On March 30, Mukhtar, Asif Mamu and Painter escaped from the HC premises minutes after the division bench comprising Justice S S Jha and Justice Sushma Shrivastava found the absconding trio and eight others guilty in the shootout between the gang of Mukhtar and Painter. The eight other accused including Mazhar Hussain, Badshah, Sadiq, Sadiq Sultan, Mohsin, Guddu Jadugar, Salim Kela and Raziullah Khan were arrested and sent to the Central Jail here on March 30.
The court had then announced to award the punishment on April 3. But after hearing the arguments in connection with sentence, the court reserved its order, which was announced on Thursday.
While allowing the State's appeals on Thursday, the High Court reversed the Bhopal district court order of August 1999, which had acquitted the respondents.
Those killed in 1996 shoot out were Salim Baba, Salim Bucha and Omar Ezhar.
The HC directed the Chief Judicial Magistrate Bhopal to get arrested the absconding persons and send them to jail.