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Ponty, Hardeep murders: Court orders framing of charges against Namdhari, 19 accused

A formal order to the effect shall be passed on Wednesday and the charges shall be framed on January 29.

Over a year after liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep were killed in a shootout in a farmhouse in Chhattarpur, a city court on Monday directed that charges be framed against former Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, his security officer Sachin Tyagi and 18 others accused in the case.

In its chargesheet, Delhi Police had levelled charges of murder, criminal conspiracy, illegal confinement, kidnapping, trespass, destruction of evidence and other charges.

Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav on Monday directed charges to be framed against the accused on “by and large all counts proposed by the prosecution”, court sources said.

A formal order to the effect shall be passed on Wednesday and the charges shall be framed on January 29.

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The murders took place on November 17, 2012, at their Chhattarpur farmhouse, with an alleged property dispute between the brothers triggering the shootout. Initially, a case was lodged against Ponty and Hardeep but the proceedings against them abated after their death. The arguments in the case were concluded on December 14.

Delhi Police had argued that all the accused were involved in the conspiracy underlying the murder. The defence on the other hand claimed that there were contradictions within the chargesheet submitted by police.

According to the prosecution, Ponty and Namdhari had gone the farmhouse with a conspiracy to take over possession of farmhouse from Hardeep.

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However, Hardeep arrived at the spot as Ponty’s men were opening the gates of the disputed property. Hardeep allegedly fired at Ponty and in return Namdhari and his men fired at Hardeep, the prosecution had claimed.

Disputing the prosecution’s version of events, Namdhari’s counsel claimed that the bullets recovered from the incident do not corroborate the story put forth in the chargesheet. He also argued that even if Namdhari’s security officer, Sachin Tyagi, fired at Hardeep, it was in self-defence and not with an intention to murder.

First published on: 14-01-2014 at 04:09:47 am
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