It sent four men, including a government servant, to three years of rigorous imprisonment for grievously assaulting their neighbours, a man and his son in 2007, over political rivalry. The convicts were allegedly then workers of BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, according to the complaint.
"The case depicts a glaring example of rising intolerance among the natives of this city who, even on trivial issues involving their alleged political faiths, do not even hesitate in attacking their own neighbours with such fury that even if the other side loses life, that would hardly matter to them.
"A person in a democratic set up like India is free to follow any political ideology, but it does not give him a right to force others to succumb to his mandate," Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma said.
Convicts Vijay Kumar, Rishi Pal, a government servant, Ashok and Satbir were sent behind bars for offences under sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 325 (causing grave injuries) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC.
"The need of the hour is to curb such rising intolerance and to award a suitable and adequate sentence commensurate to the gravity of offence," the court said.
According to the prosecution, on August 4, 2007, the four accused grievously injured victim Raju, who was their neighbour, by attacking him with sticks and sword on his head, in order to kill him.
In the incident, which took place in the Tughlakabad area of south Delhi near the victim's residence, his son Nilesh was also seriously injured with a fracture in his thigh.
Raju and his son were taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre in an unconscious state. They later lodged the complaint in the hospital, alleging that the accused were the political workers of the BJP leader.
The court, while relying on the victim's testimony, held them all guilty and said people do not value neighbours who are considered to be more precious than relatives.
"Neighbours are considered to be more precious than the relatives because in the event of any emergency, it is the neighbours upon whom a person could fall back for assistance and not on the distant relatives.
"However, with rise of materialistic society, somehow, we are deviating from our ancient culture, ethics and moralities and are returning to the age of barbarism as was prevalent in the primitive society," it said.
During the proceedings, the accused had denied the allegations and claimed they were falsely implicated by the complainant.
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