The court of Gurdaspur district and sessions judge SK Garg on Monday awarded life imprisonment to all four accused in the April 2011 murder of Jalandhar hotelier Gurkirat Singh Sekhon, aka, Gikki.
The court awarded rigorous life imprisonment and a fine of `10,000 each under Sections 304 (Part-1) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to all four accused namely Ram Simran Singh Makkar, Amardeep Singh Sunny, Jasdeep Singh and Amarpreet Singh Narula.
Besides, the court awarded two-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of `2,000 under Section 25 of the Arms Act and five-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of `5,000 under Section 27 of the Arms Act to Amardeep and Makkar, respectively.
Section 304 of the IPC corresponds to culpable homicide not amounting to murder while Section 34 stands for common intention to hurt.
District attorney Jagdishwar Kumar Chopra said all sentences would run concurrently.
DECEASED’S FATHER TO CHALLENGE VERDICT
Not satisfied with the verdict, Gikki’s father Rajbir Singh Sekhon said the accused should have been sentenced under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.
The district attorney said the state on behalf of the plaintiff (Gikki’s father) would file an appeal in the high court against the verdict seeking enhancement of the sentence under Section 302 of the IPC.
The court had fixed July 29 for pronouncing verdict, but the convicts filed an application in the court on July 28 pleading innocence and said they should be tried under Section 304 of the IPC instead of Section 302. On receiving the application, the court had fixed August 3 for pronouncing the verdict.
Jalandhar-based hotelier Gurkirat ‘Gikki’ was shot dead near Baba Rasoi dhaba in Model Town, Jalandhar, on the intervening night of April 20 and 21, 2011. A case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and 25 and 27 of the Arms Act was registered against the four accused, all residents of Jalandhar, at the division-6 police station on April 21, 2011.
One of the accused, Ram Simran Singh Makkar, is the nephew of former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Adampur Sarabjit Singh Makkar.
The case was transferred from Jalandhar sessions court to the Gurdaspur sessions court in October 2011.
The Punjab and Haryana high court had directed the Gurdaspur district and sessions judge to conclude the hearing of by July 10 as the accused always submitted a new application in the court which delayed the proceedings.
According to the first information report lodged on the statement of Gikki’s father Rajbir Singh Sekhon, the accused entered into a scuffle with Gikki at 12:45 am on April 20. Sekhon alleged that Makkar took out his revolver and shot at Gikki. The accused fled the spot. Gikki died on way to the hospital.
THE SHADY FOUR
The four accused (L-R) Amardeep Singh Sunny, Jasdeep Singh, Ram Simran Singh Makkar and Amanpreet Singh Narula awarded life imprisonment.
Amardeep Singh Sunny (36): An advocate and a resident of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar in Jalandhar. His father Mohan Singh Sachdeva is also a lawyer.
Jasdeep Singh (37): A resident of Model Town in Jalandhar. He is the owner of Regent Park Hotel near the Nakodar chowk.
Ram Simran Singh Makkar (35): Former Akali councillor and nephew of former Adampur MLA Sarbjit Singh Makkar is a resident of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar in Jalandhar. Hotel M1 on the police lines road in Jalandhar belongs to his relatives.
Amarpreet Singh Narula (41): Is a resident of Adarsh Nagar in Jalandhar. His family deals in accessories of electronic items in the city.
April 21, 2011: Gikki was murdered by Ram Simran Singh Makkar outside Baba Rasoi dhaba in Model Town, Jalandhar, in the presence of Amardeep Singh Sunny, Jasdeep Singh Jassu and Amarpreet Singh Narula around 12.45 am. An FIR was lodged against Makkar and three others under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act
April 22: The four accused surrender in the court of duty magistrate
April 25: Police recover weapons of Makkar and Sunny
May 6: Weapons and a bullet recovered from Gikki’s body sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory
July 15: Forensic report confirms that bullet was fired from Makkar’s weapon. Police file challan in the court
September 5: Charges framed against four accused under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and the Arms Act the division-6 police station, Jalandhar
October 24: On a petition filed by Makkar, the Punjab and Haryana high court transfers the trial from Jalandhar to Gurdaspur
March 22, 2012: High court dismisses bail pleas of all three accused
December 11, 2014: DSP Harpreet Singh Benipal, who supervised the case in initial days, turns hostile
August 3, 2015: Gurdaspur court sentence all four accused to life imprisonment