The Maruti verdict & loopholes in investigation
Thirty-one workers were convicted and 117 acquitted on March 10. Thirteen accused were held guilty of murder whereas 18 were convicted of rioting and other crimes under various sections of the IPC. Awanish Kumar Dev, general manager (human resources) of Maruti Suzuki, was burned to death and several executives injured in the violence in the car plant, 20 km from Gurgaon city, allegedly triggered by workers on July 18, 2012. Violence ensued after a tussle between workers and the management over various demands including registration of a trade union at the Manesar plant. Police had arrested 148 workers in connection with the murder, whereas 62 others could not be arrested and have been declared proclaimed offenders. The prosecution had demanded capital punishment for the accused citing it to be a rarest of the rare cases. “The victim Awanish Kumar Dev was beaten brutally and he could not escape from the fire because of the injuries inflicted by the accused,” district attorney Lal Singh said. Defence lawyers Rebecca John and Vrinda Grover asked for the release of 18 accused and opposed death sentence for the 13 murder accused.