A convict sentenced to life was acquitted of murder charges by the Bombay High Court on Saturday, but sentenced to a year in jail for injuring a man during the murder.
In 2008, Santosh Pande (27) was convicted of murdering businessman Laik Khan in April 2003. During the assault that ended in the murder, Laik’s brother-in-law Zulfikar Khan had tried to intervene, and was hit with a belt by Santosh.
On Saturday, the HC – while upholding the life sentences of the two other accused, Arunkumar and Ashok Pande – acquitted Santosh, saying: “Since he gave one blow of the stone on the victim’s head, it cannot be attributed to be a vital injury”. As Santosh has spent more than a year in prison, he will be released.