Lalit DSouza,a South Mumbai hotelier tried for pumping six bullets into his sister Lorna over a property dispute in October 2007,was released on bail on Wednesday after he was convicted of the lesser charge of causing grievous hurt instead of attempted murder that he was originally charged with.
Sessions Court Judge A Subramaniam sentenced DSouza to three years and slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh of which Rs 50,000 has to be paid to the victim. He was released on bail immediately after he furnished the fine amount and an additional Rs 15,000 as bail amount.
D Souza,who has spent barely two months behind bars,said he was relieved with the judgment but had been disturbed all through the case. I was expecting to get acquitted. It was she (Lorna) who attacked me, DSouza claimed.
Public prosecutor Nilima Kasture called the verdict unexpected,unacceptable and disillusioning. We will definitely appeal further, Kasture said.
The moment the judge convicted her brother on the lesser charge,a disheartened Lorna walked out of the courtroom on Wednesday. Following the verdict,she said her battle had just intensified. After miraculously surviving four bullets rupturing her pancreas,liver and kidney,Lorna had been fighting the case single-handedly for the past five years.
I will in no way accept that Lalit had shot at me to just hurt me. I walk with a bullet still lodged a cm away from my heart. He shot six rounds at me. Should I have been dead for the court to understand the level to which I have been victimised? asked Lorna,who said she would appeal in the Bombay High Court soon after she received a copy of the judgment. She said that she would not accept the compensation ordered by the court. Where is justice? she asked.
Lorna,her two sisters,and D Souza the youngest among them lived in a 2,000 sq ft apartment on the seventh floor of Sayonara building in Cuffe Parade. The Manglorean family had lived together but shared an uneasy relationship due to a dispute over property. Their father had died without leaving a will.
According to the prosecution,DSouza took control of the property five restaurants in Mumbai,one in Mangalore,a country liquor bar in Mumbai and the 2,000 sq apartment in Cuffe Parade and began ill-treating his sisters.
We suffered silently for 13 years and carried on with our lives hoping he would change and give us our share of the property. He threatened us several times,but one day he left me to die and surrendered before the police, Lorna said.