Sikand murder: Ex-army officer gets lifer
A Delhi court sentences Lt Col (retd) SJ Choudhary to life imprisonment for the murder of automobile dealer Krishan Sikand in New Delhi, reports Naziya Alvi.Updated: May 04, 2008, 01:48 IST
A city court on Saturday sentenced 72-year-old retired Lt Colonel SJ Choudhary to life imprisonment for killing businessman Krishan Sikand, owner of Sikand Motors, by using a parcel bomb 26 years ago.
The court on Monday had held the retired Lt Colonel guilty for killing Sikand (40) at his Sunder Nagar residence on October 2, 1982. The convict killed Sikand as he was allegedly seeing his estranged wife Rani Choudhary.
In a jam-packed courtroom, District and Sessions Judge Mamta Sehgal pronounced the sentence. The CBI on Friday had, however, sought death penalty for the convict calling the offence a “pre-planned and brutal act”. Choudhary, who looked composed, told reporters that he would soon appeal against the verdict before the high court.
Imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 on Choudhary, the court also sentenced him to 10 years of simple imprisonment under Section 3 and 4 of Explosives Act to be read concurrently. Sikand’s relatives, sans his 98-year-old father H.D. Sikand, had turned up in the court for the hearing. “We are satisfied with the verdict,” said Sanjay Sikand, son of the deceased.
The convict is the son of late Sano Ram Choudhary, Delhi’s first Inspector General of Police in independent India.
Earlier arguing on the quantum of sentence, Choudhary’s counsel SP Minocha had on Friday countered the CBI’s contention for death sentence saying the offence was a normal murder case. “Look at his circumstances, he can’t be a danger to the society. In fact, he is an asset to the society keeping in mind the kind of service he has given to the country,” he said.
In his plea, Minocha said the convict had fought battles for the country and won bravery awards.
The prosecution had examined as many as 80 witnesses to prove its case. The CBI had claimed that Sikand had died due to a bomb in the parcel, which went off on opening it at his residence in south Delhi.