Romesh Sharma, 5 others get life

Updated on Feb 19, 2008 02:26 AM IST
Romesh Sharma, an alleged aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, and five of his associates were sentenced to life imprisonment. Naziya Alvi reports.
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Hindustan Times | ByNaziya Alvi, New Delhi

Romesh Sharma, an alleged aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, and five of his associates were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday afternoon in the Kunjum Budhiraja murder case.

Sharma and others were convicted on Friday for conspiring and getting Kunjum, his live-in partner, killed on March 20, 1999, at his south Delhi farmhouse.

Like always, dressed in a spotless white dhoti-kurta, and a tilak on his forehead, Sharma walked out of the court soon after the sentence was pronounced.

He seemed unruffled as he exchanged greetings with a few media persons present in the court. The CBI had demanded death penalty for Sharma who was convicted largely on the basis of circumstantial evidence. Additional Sessions Judge S.P. Garg observed: “Conspiracy is writ large as when deceased Kunjum reached the farmhouse, she was alone and nobody, not even a pandit (priest) was present there. And this question has not been satisfactorily answered by Sharma.” Justice Garg has also imposed a fine of Rs.50,000 on him.

Tejinder Virdi alias Dolly, who was found guilty of conspiring along with Romesh to kill Kunjum as she wanted to marry him, has been asked to pay a fine of Rs.5000. The court imposed the same amount on Sharma’s nephew Surinder Mishra.

The other three convicts — Hemchand, Santram and Ramesh — were Sharma’s henchmen and the court has imposed a fine of Rs.1,000 each on them.

During a brief argument on the point of sentence, the defence counsels vehemently opposed the prosecution’s plea seeking death penalty for the convicts.

Noted criminal lawyer Pandit R.K. Naseem argued that Kunjum’s case does not fall under the “rarest of rare cases”. “There are no special reasons for awarding capital punishment. There can’t be death punishment in all the murder cases. It is an ordinary case of murder,” he said.

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