The Additional District and Sessions Court of Rajeev Goyal Wednesday sentenced life imprisonment till the end of natural life to Harmehtab Singh for murdering Akansh Sen, the nephew of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on the convict.
The court after going by the hearings of the case, while holding the accused guilty in the matter held that Harmehtab and Balraj Singh Randhawa, another prime accused in the case, “had the requisite intention to cause death of Akansh Sen by running him over by BMW car.” The court added that “it was so done by Balraj Singh Randhawa at the instance of accused Harmehtab. Hence, both shared common intention while committing the act of murder of Akansh Sen.”
The court further said that “…even though he (Akansh) died after 36 hours of the occurrence, the act committed by them becomes no less serious than murder because all through the time Akansh Sen remained admitted in PGI till his death, his condition remained most critical. Further, he was run over thrice with intention of causing such bodily injury to him which was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death which becomes absolutely clear from the report of medical board.”
The court had on Monday held Harmehtab Singh guilty under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
After the conviction, Harmehtab pleaded that “I am innocent. I am not a previous convict. I had cleared my diploma in human rights during the period of stay at Model Jail, Burail and further enrolled for Masters in English from IGNOU, New Delhi. Lenient view may kindly be taken.” Whereas the public prosecutor pleaded that the convict is not entitled for any leniency.
The court while pronouncing the quantum of sentence observed, “No doubt, killing a person is a heinous and brutal crime but at the same time, it is not possible to hold that it is a rarest of rare case because it is difficult to say that convict is menace to society and there is no reason to believe that he cannot be reformed or rehabilitated and that he is likely to continue criminal acts of violence as would constitute a continuing threat to the society. Hence, extreme penalty of death sentence is not required to be awarded to the convict in the present case.”
Soon after Harmehtab was sentenced life imprisonment, he turned emotional. He was then consoled by his brother Hartaj Singh and a couple of friends present in the court. Harmehtab was offered a glass of water by the court staff.
Akansh Sen was run over by a BMW car in Sector 9, Chandigarh, on the night of February 9, 2017.
Harmehtab is the grandson of the erstwhile PEPSU Chief Minister Gian Singh Rarewala while Randhawa is the son of a former sarpanch of Fatehgarh Sahib, who has already been declared a Proclaimed Offender (PO) by the court in 2017. The police have submitted the plea for attachment of Randhawa’s property in the Court.