Upholding a lower court order, the Bombay High Court on Monday sent to gallows a businessman who killed his entire family by setting them on fire over domestic quarrels.
The High Court held that it was the rarest of the rare cases and confirmed the lower court order which had awarded the capital punishment to Ajit Singh Gujral for killing his wife Kamaljeet, son Amandeep and daughters Niti and Taniya by setting them on fire on April 10, 2003.
The court, however, stayed the order for a week, to allow him to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Gujral, a resident of Sher-e-Punjab colony in suburban Andheri, was in heavy debts, which led to frequent quarrels between him and the members of his family.
After the gruesome killings, he fled the city, but police nabbed him in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
According to prosecution, Gujral had shifted to Mumbai from Ludhiana in 2002-end and was running a business in the city. However, he became debt-ridden and was unable to pay the dues, which often led bitter arguments in the family and one day in a fit of rage he set his family members on fire.
The charred remains of the bodies were recovered from Gujral's bedroom. Police became suspicious after he fled Mumbai and was arrested in Rajasthan. Servants told police that on the day of the incident there was quarrel in the family.
Gujral took a defence plea that he had gone to Rajasthan to meet his sister who was terminally ill.