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?Evidence strong against Nitin?

The prosecution has submitted before the Delhi High Court that the written complaint filed by the deceased in the Nizamuddin police station, reports Harish V Nair.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2007 06:54 IST

The prosecution has submitted before the Delhi High Court that the written complaint filed by the deceased in the Nizamuddin police station 10 days before the murder was enough to nail businessman Nitin Shah and underworld don Babloo Srivastava in the Lalit Suneja murder case.

Public Prosecutor Mukta Gupta was on Thursday arguing before a division bench of Justices R.S. Sodhi and P.K. Bhasin, which is hearing an appeal filed by Shah and Babloo against their conviction on July 3, 2006. This is the same bench which convicted the accused in the Jessica Lall and Priyadarshini Mattoo cases overturning the trial court’s acquittals.

She said apart from the complaint, there was also ample circumstantial evidence to prove that Shah and Babloo had entered into a conspiracy to eliminate Suneja, an employee of Shah, following a monetary dispute. The prosecution said the task was accomplished through two contract killers — Virender Pant and Manish Dixit, who Shah had hired through Babloo.

Even trial judge Rajinder Kumar had relied extensively on the complaint to convict the duo even though many key witnesses, including Suneja’s wife Veena who also had signed the complaint, turned hostile. She had also failed to identify the four accused in court. Many others, including accused Virender and Manish, died during trial.

Gupta said even if Veena had turned hostile, the inspector at Nizamuddin station to whom the complaint was handed over, had corroborated the prosecution version.

Suneja’s signed complaint dated July 23, 1992 said: “Today around 2 p.m., I received a call from Babloo Srivastava. He told me he is a gangster. He has asked me to come to Jukaso Inn where they (Shah and Babloo) want to discuss the dispute with me. They have said if I do not reach there they will kill me. I am going there to meet Shah and Babloo. I am scared of my life. I request the police to register my complaint and give me protection”.

The prosecution told the HC that the complaint can be considered a dying declaration. The counsels for Shah and Babloo had questioned its admissibility as evidence. The prosecution said there was also evidence that Manish was present at the meeting where a settlement could not be arrived at and it was he who shot dead Suneja.

Email Harish V Nair: harish.nair@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Jan 26, 2007 06:54 IST