A division bench of the Allahabad High Court in Lucknow on Friday commuted the capital punishment given to the main accused in murdering IndianOil Corporation (IOC) executive Manjunath Shanmugam to life.
On March 26, 2007, a sessions court in Lakhimpur Kheri had awarded the death sentence to the main accused Pawan alias Monu Mittal, and life to seven others. The convicted then moved the high court.
The high court bench of Justice K.K. Mishra and Justice D.V. Sharma commuted the capital punishment given to Mittal to life imprisonment and acquitted two of the seven others -- Harish Mishra and Sanjay Awasthi.
Relatives of Harish Mishra and Awasthi expressed satisfaction at the judgment.
Manjunath Shanmugam, a 2003 batch Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow) alumnus, was shot dead in Lakhimpur Kheri, 135 km north-west of Lucknow, on November 19, 2005.
He was a sales executive with IOC at Lakhimpur when the oil mafia murdered him for his drive against adulterated petrol.
Members of the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust, formed to fight his case as well as create awareness among people about the need to remain honest, said justice had been done.
Asked whether they would appeal against the two acquittals and the commuting of the death penalty of the main accused, trust members said a decision would be taken after consulting all concerned.