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Friday, July 20, 2018

HC acquits man of murder 14 yrs after he was jailed

Singh was arrested in September 1999 for the murder of the wife of his former employer and was convicted in 2006.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: December 7, 2013 1:03:05 am

After spending 14 years in jail for a murder he did not commit,42-year-old Bhupender Singh walked free on Friday after the Delhi High Court acquitted him of all charges.

Singh was arrested in September 1999 for the murder of the wife of his former employer and was convicted in 2006.

A partial fingerprint in the room where the body was found and the testimony of his former employer that Singh had left his employment in anger after he turned down Singh’s request for Rs 50,000,were the two main things that had got him convicted.

The prosecution had also said a silver coin,which bore the name of the child of his former employer,had also been recovered from Singh’s possession.

Singh,along with co-accused Drojen Singh and Dinesh,was also accused of robbing his former employer’s house of money and jewellery.

Drojen Singh,who had been named conspirator by the prosecution,was out on bail during the appeal process,while third accused Dinesh had absconded soon after the incident and was never arrested.

The court had dismissed Singh’s argument that his fingerprints were bound to be in the house as he had gone there several times to meet his boss.

On Friday,the High Court bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Indermeet Kaur acquitted Singh,and held that there was not enough evidence to connect him to the crime.

During the 14 years that he was in jail,Singh was allowed out on bail only for two weeks — to conduct the last rites of his father in 2012.

“He was so frustrated by the long trial that he even asked me if we could withdraw his appeal when he completed 14 years in jail. He said he was now eligible to be considered by the board for parole,” Singh’s advocate Ajay Verma said.

Singh had filed an appeal in 2006,raising questions about the manner in which his fingerprints had been lifted for matching. The issue of the process used to obtain the fingerprints was taken up by two separate benches of the High Court at the same time. They gave contradictory judgments,thus delaying the trial and denying the plea by Singh. He approached the Supreme Court with a plea to reconcile the decisions,but it dismissed his plea on technical grounds.

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