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Govandi resident gets life term for killing coworker over monetary dispute

ByRutuja Gadhani
Feb 23, 2024 06:52 AM IST

Govandi resident Bilal Sayyed sentenced to life for stabbing coworker over monetary loss. Two co-accused acquitted. Victim stabbed multiple times, leading to death.

MUMBAI: The sessions court on Wednesday sentenced a Govandi resident to life imprisonment for stabbing his coworker in 2018 for allegedly causing monetary loss to the convict. Additional sessions judge Dr SD Tawshikar also imposed a fine of 10,000 on the convict, Bilal Sayyed. The court, however, acquitted two of his co-accused, holding that they had not played any role in the crime.

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According to the prosecution, the deceased Dharma was a tempo driver and the informant Salim Qureshi, Dharma’s friend, was a rickshaw driver who often accompanied him on his tempo as a labourer. Sayyed and Dharma were involved in the cattle slaughtering business, whereas Dharma transported the cattle for Sayyed.

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On September 21, 2018, Dharma, Sayyed and Salim went to Alibag to bring buffaloes, however, they could not pick up buffaloes due to lord Ganapati’s processions. Subsequently, they proceeded to Khopoli, where Sayyed asked Dharma to take bullocks in his tempo instead of buffaloes. Dharma outrightly refused to carry bullocks in his tempo, resulting in a fight between the two.

After some time, Sayyed decided to let go of the matter and make peace with Dharma but, he kept Dharma’s phone in return for the loss he endured due to the tempo driver’s reluctance.

On September 30, 2018, Dharma and Salim went to Sayyed to demand the former’s phone. However, Sayyed, who was seated with two other co-accused, refused to return it and asked Dharma to first compensate him for the loss caused by his denial to transport bullocks. Following this, a verbal exchange ensued between the two. Thereafter, while the co-accused assaulted Salim, Sayyed stabbed Dharma around six times with a sharp object. Sayyed and other accused fled from the spot and some locals rushed Dharma to a government hospital where he was declared dead by the examining doctor after which Salim lodged an FIR with the Deonar police station.

To bring home Sayyed’s guilt, the prosecution examined 14 witnesses. The court accepted their testimony and observed that according to the death certificate, though the deceased was under the influence of liquor, the cause of death was haemorrhage and shock due to multiple stab injuries to the chest, lungs and stomach.

Seeking maximum punishment for the accused, public prosecutor Ajit Chavan submitted that the genesis of a dispute between Sayyed and the deceased dated back to the first incident on September 21, 2018, and that there was no scope for false implication.

Referring to the mobile handset that was the root cause of the quarrel, the advocate representing Sayyed vehemently stated that there was a serious lacuna in the prosecution case as the mobile was neither recovered nor mentioned again. He further criticised the prosecution for planting a witness to suit the case and sought leniency as the accused’s family was dependent on him.

The court refused to accept Sayyed’s suggestion calling Dharma’s death an accidental act of dashing against a vehicle carrying iron rods and held him liable to be convicted for murder. “It cannot be said that Bilal (Sayyed) did not take undue advantage of the situation. Rather he acted in a cruel manner to use a weapon for stabbing Dharma on vital part of his body,” said the judge and convicted for committing an offence punishable under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

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