All three accused in the Yug Gupta murder case were sentenced to death by a District and Sessions Court on Wednesday.
Chander Sharma (26), Tajender Pal Singh (29) and Vikrant Bakshi (22) have been held guilty of kidnapping, murder and conspiracy in connection with the death of 4-year-old Yug Gupta in Shimla in 2014.
Holding the case as rarest of the rare, Sessions Judge Virender Singh pronounced the verdict at 2 pm amidst tight security.
All three accused were convicted by the court on 6 August. The court had fixed the date for pronouncing quantum of sentence on 29 August, eight days after recording the statements of the parents of the accused.
Later, the court deferred the date of pronouncing the quantum of sentence to 5 September.
Justice Singh said that the execution of sentence shall be subject to the confirmation from High Court of Himachal Pradesh.
The Judge also told the accused, who were present in the court, that they can file an appeal before the High Court within a period of 30 days from today. A fine of Rs 50,000 also imposed on all the three accused.
The teary-eyed parents and grandmother of Yug Gupta heaved a sigh of relief as the Judge pronounced the punishment.
Yug’s father Vinod Gupta said that justice has been finally delivered.
“Though my son is not alive anymore, the court has done justice,” he said.
Yug’s mother, Pinki Gupta, broke down as she heard the judgment. “My son has got justice and I am relieved,” she said.
Calling it “a landmark”, District Attorney RS Parmar said that the judgment restored the faith of the people in rule of law.
Yug Gupta was kidnapped from outside his house in Ram Bazaar in Shimla on 14 June 2014 by his neighbour Chander Sharma, who lured him with chocolates.
The accused had kept the boy naked, tortured him and forced him to consume liquor for seven days. He was later dumped alive in water storage tank seven days after the abduction, even before the first ransom call was made to his parents.
The accused allegedly sent a letter demanding ransom from the child’s father on 27 June, six days after they had killed the boy.
Two years after the Shimla Police failed to make any headway, the case was handed over to CID who recovered the minor boy’s skeletal remains from the Shimla Municipal Corporation’s water storage tank in Kelston area on 21 August 2016.
On 22 August 2016, the police arrested Sharma, Singh and Bakshi and booked them under sections 302, 201, 342, 364 A and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.
Police investigations had revealed that Chander had even taken part in protests and search for child to avoid suspicion. And he was the one who had insisted on killing the boy as the child knew him while Tejender and Vikrant were opposed to the idea.
Chronology of Events in Yug Gupta murder case:
14 June 2014: Yug Gupta kidnapped from outside house
16 June 2014: Sadar Police station registers case
21 June 2014: Yug dumped alive in water tank with stone tied to his body
27 June 2014: Parents receive ransom letter demanding Rs 3.6 crore
14 August 2016: Case transferred to CID
21 August 2016: Police recovers skeletal remains from water tank
22 August 2016: Chander, Tejender, Vikrant arrested for kidnapping, murder
25 February 2017: CID filed chargesheet in court
6 August 2018: Court convicts the trio in the case