It was a dramatic day in court as Pravin Mahajan was sentenced to life in prison for killing his older brother Pramod, former Union telecom minister, in April 2006.
Pravin’s wife Sarangi fought back tears as Judge S.P. Davare asked him whether he had anything to say. Pravin simply shook his head.
For the first time, Pravin looked uncomfortable in court, sweating profusely and repeatedly wiping his face with a handkerchief. His eyes were sore and bloodshot, indicating that he had a sleepless night.
Pravin listened attentively as Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam sought the death penalty for him. The court had observed that the prosecution was not able to establish a motive, but Nikam said: “It was a frozen-blooded murder (sic)… Motive is through intention and intention is corroborated by circumstances… A motiveless crime is more dangerous than a motivated one.”
Continuing in the same fashion, Nikam argued that “Pravin not only killed his brother, but the idea of brotherhood”. He added: “Pravin enjoyed the act of murder and thereafter by trying to malign Pramod’s image through his in-camera statements. Such a person is called a sadist. For good people, defamation is worse than death.”
Pronouncing the sentence, the court said: “The case does not fall under the ‘rarest of rare’ category. Thus, an alternate punishment for murder, life imprisonment, meets the ends of justice.”
A shaken Sarangi later said: “I don’t need any support from the Mahajan family. I will fight with the help of my brothers and the support of my children.”