LUDHIANA: A local court has sentenced an elderly person to life imprisonment in a case. The court of additional sessions judge Virinder Aggarwal also imposed a fine of Rs1,10,000 on the 63-year-old convict — Major Singh of Sultanpur, Dhuri, in Sangrur district, out of which Rs1 lakh will be given to parents of deceased Jarnail Singh as compensation.
On 12 May 2017, Machiwara police station had booked Major Singh and 69-year-old Dalbara Singh of Mullewal in Dhuri under sections 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC for killing Jarnail Singh of Sultanpur.

As per prosecution, Harbans Singh, uncle (husband of Jarnail’s paternal aunt) recorded the statement of the police that on 11 May 2017 at about 6.30pm, Major Singh came to his brother-in-law Baldev Singh’s house. He asked Jarnail to accompany him to inquire about husk work. Next morning, the wife of his brother-in-law, Charanjit Kaur, told him her son did not come back, and asked him to call his mobile phone, after which when he called on the number, nobody picked it up. Later, he got a call from the same number, informing him that Jarnail’s body was lying in the fields near Behlolpur, and there were many injuries on his head. After reaching the place, he found the body lying in the fields near the drain of Behlolpur, after which he informed the police, who arrested the accused persons and recovered the sharp-edged weapon (Dah), and handle of hand pump from the bushes at the crime spot.

During trial of the case, the accused pleaded false implication. Additional public prosecutor for state SS Haidar pleaded for punishment to the accused on the basis of prosecution evidence. The defence counsel argued that the accused was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the present case.

The court observed that from the material placed on record by the prosecution as well as defence, it is clear Major Singh suspected Jarnail Singh had some connection with persons who murdered his son Amandeep after taking him from his house. “No direct evidence of motive is possible, as the motive rests in the mind of the perpetrator of the crime, and in the present case from the entire circumstances, it is clear Major Singh had in his mind that Jarnail was connected with persons guilty of murdering his son, and for that reason, he killed Jarnail after taking him away from his house,” observed the court.

The court, however, acquitted Dalbara Singh and observed there was no motive for him to commit the offence. Also, Dalbara Singh was not initially named as a person who took away Jarnail. Additional public prosecutor for state SS Haidar said the court convicted Major Singh on the basis of circumstantial evidence and ‘last seen’ theory.

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