A local court on Thursday awarded life sentence till death to a youth for sodomising and murdering a 13-year-old boy last year.
Pardeep Kumar (22), the convict, a resident of Bhim Nagar, had confessed while in custody in another murder case of a minor in October last year that he had also killed his neighbour Sukhdev Singh's minor son Sumit and buried his body in a vacant plot near his house four months ago.
The trial is pending against Pardeep in another murder case.
He admitted to having sexually exploited the boy before suffocating him to death. He said he had taken the boy home when his family members had gone to attend a marriage ceremony.
On the basis of his statement, the police exhumed the body in the presence of a magistrate and a medical officer.
The defence counsel argued that confession made before the police was not admissible as evidence, nor there was any eyewitness in the case, but the court pronounced him guilty.
"It is a settled provision of law that the accused can be held guilty in case of circumstantial evidence, provided the prosecution proves its point beyond doubt. In the present case, the chain of events is complete and the allegations stand proved," the court of additional session judge JS Bhinder observed.
"It is one of the most heinous crimes against children. The accused does not deserve any leniency," the court maintained, awarding imprisonment "till remainder of natural life" and a fine of Rs 50,000 under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, seven years and a fine of Rs 20,000 under Section 364 (abduction) and 3 years and a fine of Rs 5,000 under Section 201 (destroying evidence).
The aggrieved parents would be given Rs 50,000 from the fine, the court decreed. After the court verdict, the victim's family members tried to get hold of the convict but the police took him away.
"He is a brute. He does not deserve to live. My son had gone to buy biscuits from a nearby shop and never returned. We kept searching for him for four months. We had never imagined such a tragic end for him," said Sukhdev Singh, Sumit's father.
In the second case, Pardeep had allegedly abducted, sodomised and killed Aman (aged 12-13) of the same locality on the eve of Dussehra. The body was later recovered from the fields in Sunder Nagar.