A Delhi court has sentenced a rickshaw-puller to life imprisonment for killing a fruit vendor, saying it will be "failing in its duty if appropriate punishment is not awarded for a crime committed not only against the individual victims but also against the society."
Additional Sessions Judge Yashwant Kumar refused to take a lenient view towards the convict, Munna, saying, "it is the nature and gravity of the crime and not the criminal which are germane for consideration of appropriate punishment in a criminal trial."
"The court will be failing in its duty if appropriate punishment is not awarded for a crime which has been committed not only against the individual victim but also against the society to which the criminal and the victim belong," the judge said.
The court held that every murder with conspiracy is a heinous crime but awarding of sentence other than death penalty is the general rule now.
"Considering the totality of facts and circumstances, convict Munna is sentenced with imprisonment for life under section 302 (murder) of IPC with fine of Rs 5,000," it said.
The court had on November 28, 2014, held Munna guilty of stabbing the fruit vendor Chotu to death under section 302 of IPC and under Arms Act.
While holding him guilty of murder, the court relied on the post mortem report of the victim and said his injuries proved that Munna really intended to cause his death.
According to prosecution, on June 24, 2011, at 6.45am when Delhi Police's quick reaction team was on patrolling duty here, they found Munna chasing Chotu with a knife.
Two police officials ran after them and entered a house where Munna inflicted a knife blow to Chotu injuring him grievously after which he was apprehended. Chotu later succumbed to injuries at hospital.
During trial, Munna pleaded not guilty and said he was falsely implicated by the police officials who planted the knife.