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High court upholds life term to killers of Chandigarh-based CA

Also orders registration of FIR against chief witness who had turned hostile.

punjab Updated: Jul 28, 2018 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Punjab and Haryana high court,High court
Rajesh Goyal, the victim.

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday upheld the life sentence to four men for the murder of a city-based chartered accountant in 2007.

The high court (HC) bench of justices AB Chaudhari and BS Walia also ordered registration of a first-information report (FIR) against the chief witness in the case, Kamlesh, who had turned hostile. He may now face up to seven years imprisonment.

Rajesh Goyal, 37, a resident of Sector 42, was murdered on the evening of May 22, 2007. Those convicted are share broker Kanav Arora, a resident of Sector 21; Arora’s staffer Shiv Kumar, a resident of Nayagaon; hired killer Mandeep Singh, a student and call centre employee who belongs to Phase 10, SAS Nagar; and Ishwinder Singh, a student from Sector 21, Chandigarh. All the convicts are in their early 30s.

What was the motive

The prosecution had claimed that Iqbal Singh Subherwal, a client of chartered accountant (CA) Rajesh Goyal, had purchased 77,300 shares through Kanav, who was a broker. Goyal was asking Kanav to return ₹1.9 crore by selling the shares of Subherwal. Following this, the accused planned to eliminate Goyal so that they could pocket the money.

A Chandigarh court awarded life sentence to the four accused on July 8, 2013, even as the main witness and complainant in the case, Kamlesh, had turned hostile on April 8, 2008.

The convicts had approached the HC on August 27, 2013, claiming the motive was not established and the main witness had turned hostile.

However, the HC agreed with the prosecution that it has proved the discovery or recovery of the weapon and the other incriminating circumstances including the blood group that was found on various articles, which were collected and recovered. Crucial witnesses too have supported the prosecution. The court found no “damage” to the prosecution theory and upheld the decision of trial court.

Witness’ trial to be completed by Oct 31

The court observed that it is very serious that the person who was the eyewitness and informant turned hostile.

“…Kamlesh was an eyewitness and it is at his instance, the names of assailants and the knowledge of the incident was received. We are of the firm opinion that Kamlesh has deliberately given false evidence before the court when he turned hostile and thus, did not support the prosecution case,” the HC said.

Kamlesh had admitted before a magistrate that he had signed the complaint, which became the basis of FIR. But he had later resiled from his statement. The HC has now issued bailable warrants for Kamlesh to appear before the district courts on August 13.

The registrar of district courts has been asked to file a complaint before the chief judicial magistrate before August 31. If he fails to file the complaint, he may face disciplinary action. The trial is to be completed before October 31 and a compliance report is to be submitted by November 12.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 13:50 IST