Five Maxi Cab serial-killer gang members were awarded rigorous imprisonment (RI) for life on Monday by a fast track court for killing and robbing a 25-year-old factory worker for just Rs 2. In a separate case, the same court awarded life term to three members of the gang (two of whom were accused in the previous case also) for killing a 19-year-old.
Additional sessions judge BL Singhal of Fast Track Court said he took the lenient view of the appeal of the public prosecutor Rajpal Dhankar who had urged the court to award all the accused with death sentence.
“Taking into view the family background and the young age of the accused, I decided to award life sentence,” Singhal said.
Promod alias Bhutan (24), Ravi (21), Budhram (25), Mukesh (25) and Rohtash (32) — residents of village Bhora Kalan — were awarded RI for life for the murder of factory worker Rajesh Kumar while Vikram alias Vicky as well as Promod and Mukesh too got life term RI for the murder of an unidentified person.
In November, the Gurgaon police had claimed to have busted a gang of Maxi Cab killers and had arrested nine residents of village Bhora Kalan (between the age of 18 and 32 years) two of whom are juveniles. The police officials at the time had claimed the gang had admitted killing about 28 people after offering them lift in their cabs during 2005-06.
The victims also included an MNC executive Sachin Jain and an MBA student Ashish Bhagoria. About two-dozen cases are undergoing trial in the fast track court in Gurgaon.
But defence lawyer Pardeep Panghal, who is fighting all 22 cases for the nine accused for free (as he claims) said the police had falsely implicated the accused in many unsolved and pending cases just to clear its record.
“There are a number of discrepancies in the two cases in which the accused have received RI for life,” he added.
The police officials refuted his allegation, saying that crucial proofs such as belongings of the deceased had been recovered from the accused.