Basant,Sarita get life in jail for Inspector Sucha Singh murder

Public prosecutor wanted death for the duo,but the court said it was not ‘rare of the rarest case’.

Written by Shishir Tripathi | Chandigarh | Published: December 5, 2013 2:45 am

A local court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to Basant Kumar,dismissed Chandigarh Police constable,and Sarita for murdering Inspector Sucha Singh.

While awarding the sentence,District and Sessions Judge S K Aggarwal ruled,“Basant,once a part of a disciplined force,has spoiled his own life by spoiling the life of a senior police officer who was also part of the same force. Basant while joining the duty must have thought to serve the people by protecting their lives,liberty and property and nobody must have known at that time that one day the same fellow will take law in his own hands and will not hesitate to kill even an innocent senior police officer without any rhyme or reason.”

Arguing on the quantum of sentence,the public prosecutor for Chandigarh Police had submitted that “the life of the innocent police inspector was brought to an end by both the accused by their devilish design in a ghastly manner and that they are habitual offender and have a criminal record and,therefore,do not deserve leniency”. He had contended that “such a scene of occurrence when visualised even for a moment gives a jerk to the judicial conscience and in turn the convicts also deserve a jerk of the Hang Man’s rope to have the taste of death,this being the grave of gravest and rare of rarest case. Hence the capital punishment should be awarded to them”.

However,the defence counsel for the convicts opposed the prosecution’s version and the assertion put forth by the public prosecutor,and contended that previous conduct of the accused had not been established so far and they were just facing trial but had not been convicted in the earlier case.

After listening to the arguments put forward by both defence counsel and prosecution,the court held,“Though the convicts have taken the life of a sober and meritorious police officer,keeping in view the entire facts,circumstances,age and antecedents of the accused,this court does not feel that this case falls under the grave of gravest or rare of the rarest case and therefore both the accused are sentenced to life imprisonment.”

Basant and Sarita were sentenced to life imprisonment under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the IPC and a penalty of Rs 20,000 was imposed on them. They were also convicted under Section 397 (robbery or dacoity,with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) for which they were awarded seven years of imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 7,000,Section 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the IPC for which they got two years of imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 2,000. Basant was also convicted under Section 25 of the Arms Act for which he got three years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,000.

On the run after murdering the husband and mother-in-law of his paramour two days after her marriage,dismissed Chandigarh Police constable Basant had murdered Inspector Sucha Singh and injured a Chandigarh Police constable on June 8.

Inspector Sucha Singh,who was stabbed 12 times by Basant,died at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh,on June 8. Basant along with Sarita had escaped in a police vehicle.

Basant and Sarita were spotted by Inspector Sucha Singh and constable Jitender who were patrolling outside the Sector 17 bus stand at 2.15 am on June 8. The patrolling party did not know the identity of the couple. Basant had initially lied that Sarita was his sister. Unconvinced,the Inspector asked them to accompany to Sector 17 police station.

On reaching the police station,Basant revealed that they were married and the identification papers were in their luggage lying at the bus stand. The Inspector and the constable took them back to the bus stand. As soon as they reached the gate of the bus stand,Basant took out a knife and asked the Inspector to let them go. When confronted,Basant stabbed the Inspector several times. He stabbed the constable too before driving away in the police vehicle. He was arrested from a hotel in Paharganj in Delhi on June 9.

The chargesheet against the duo was filed on August 24 and the case was committed to District and Sessions Court on September 3. Charges were framed against Basant and Sarita on September 17.

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