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Haren Pandya murder: Gujarat HC reduces convict’s 4-year term, imposes Rs 21 lakh fine

The petitioner, Shaikh, was convicted for being an absconder while he was acquitted from the murder charges by a special POTA court.

Gujarat High Court, Gujarat High Court employees, Gujarat HC employees termination, Gujarat HC judges, Gujarat judges appointment, Gujarat latest news Gujarat High Court.

The Gujarat High Court, while cutting short the four-year jail term of ‘absconder’ Mohammed Junaid Shaikh, who was acquitted in BJP leader Haren Pandya’s murder case, Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs 21 lakh on the convict instead. Disposing of the convict’s appeal petition, the court ordered that the money be utilised for the betterment of the poor residing in Pandya’s constituency — Ellisbridge in Ahmedabad.

The petitioner, Shaikh, was convicted for being an absconder while he was acquitted from the murder charges by a special POTA court. He has already served 17 months in jail in the absconding case and is currently out on bail. Shaikh had not turned up before the special court after the chargesheet was filed in September 2003 and he was declared ‘absconder’ under section-70 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Eventually, he was booked under section 174A of the IPC which prescribes jail for four years or more, fine or both. Shaikh surrendered before the court on July 9, 2007, almost three months after a POTA court had convicted 12 persons for murdering Pandya. Shaikh was also acquitted from murder charges which had also been challenged by the CBI in the High Court. The division bench rejected the CBI’s appeal.

The division bench of justices K S Jhaveri and Biren Vaishnav disposed of the appeal petition moved by Shaikh, challenging his conviction in 2007 by special POTA court for being an absconder. Pandya was shot dead on March 26, 2003 outside Law Garden.

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First published on: 07-04-2016 at 02:51:17 am
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