Faced with death sentence or life-term, Sher Singh Rana, the lone convict in the 2001 sensational killing of bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi, on Tuesday sought leniency from a Delhi court. "You (judge) are sitting on the chair of the God and what you say here comes directly from God's mouth," Rana told Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar adding "You (judge) have pardoned the prosecution in this case so please pardon me also." Rana, 35, has been convicted under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC for murdering Phoolan at her residence here on July 25, 2001.
Rana also told the judge that he wants to do something good for the society. After the court, which reserved its order on quantum of sentence for August 14, asked Rana about his family, he told the court that he is unmarried but he has the responsibility of looking after his ailing mother. "I am unmarried but I have the responsibility of looking after my aged mother. My father expired when I was in jail and I could not attend his last rites. My mother is ailing and she would get treatment only after I am released from jail," he said in the jampacked courtroom.
At the fag end of the hearing, a tense-looking Rana tried to strike a lighter note with the judge saying although the court has held him guilty in the case it should now write such an order on sentence that he could get acquittal from the higher court soon.
"I know that no judge wants his order to be reversed by the higher courts....I request you to write such a judgement so that I could get acquittal soon," he said.
Rana submitted this to the court after the prosecution as well as the defence counsel concluded their arguments during which the prosecutor sought death penalty for him while his lawyer opposed the same.
After the defence counsel concluded his arguments, Rana sought the court's permission to say something, which the judge granted.
He started his submissions regarding the sequence of events which started in 2001 when Phoolan was killed.
He told the judge "you have already given the judgement and so I would not say anything on it but I would like to clarify something."
Rana said that before 2001, he was never arrested and only a case under the Excise Act was lodged against him but he was acquitted in that case.
"On July 27, 2001, I was arrested after which 4-5 false cases were lodged against me by the police. In some of these cases, the police later on told the concerned courts that I was not involved in the crime," he said.
"In these 13 years (since his arrest in 2001), nobody can say that I have done anything wrong," he said.
As soon as he started advancing submissions as to why he had escaped from Tihar jail in 2004, the court said it has nothing to do with it.
"I have nothing to do with it. You have been held guilty and you will get either death penalty or life imprisonment," the judge said.
During the hearing, supporters of Rana were present inside the courtroom. As soon as Rana was escorted back from the court, the supporters gathered outside the gate of the courtroom and shouted slogans saying, "Brother (Rana) you are our pride and we are with you always." The supporters also started pushing the policemen who were escorting the convict which prompted Rana to waive his hands to pacify them after which the police officials managed to take him to the lock-up inside the court premises.