The Delhi high court on Monday upheld the life sentence awarded to two men for murdering United Nations Development Programme employee Pushkin Chandra and his gay partner Kuldeep in south Delhi seven years ago.
Chandra, 38, son of a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, and his friend were found dead at his residence in Anand Lok. The incident, which had rocked the capital, took place in 2004, on the intervening night of August 13 and 14.
“It is evident from the record that Pushkin Chandra used to indulge in unnatural sexual activities,” the trial court judge had said in his judgment on March 3, 2010.
The judge had also watched, in the court room, a video cassette showing Chandra having sex with young men. But the court said: “No material evidence could be gathered to show he blackmailed the poor boys with whom he used to indulge in sexually pervert acts….”
“Moreover, nobody gets a right to eliminate a human being for whatever injustice has been caused to him. If this attitude is given sanction, what will happen to civil society?” the court had asked.
Hearing the appeal, the high court went by the statement of Hare Ram, a servant at Chandra’s residence, who saw both the accused visit on the evening of the murder. It dismissed the appeal filed by Moti, 26, and Rajesh Rekwar, 27, who were awarded life imprisonment by the trial court in 2010 for murder and theft.
HC bench said: “The prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellants had committed the murders of Pushkin Chandra and Kuldeep.” “Chandra’s belongings, including a DVD player, that were recovered from Rekwar’s house also formed the basis of his conviction,” the prosecution said.