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Allahabad HC upholds life term in Syed Modi murder case

The bench said that there was ample evidence on record to show that Syed Modi was killed in firing by the appellant along with another accused by using a firearm.

IANS | Lucknow |

Thirty-four years after he was killed, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has affirmed the life imprisonment awarded to a convict Bhagwati Singh a.k.a. Pappu in connection with the murder of national badminton champion Syed Modi in 1988.

The bench said that there was ample evidence on record to show that Syed Modi was killed in firing by the appellant along with another accused by using a firearm.

A vacation bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Saroj Yadav passed the judgment on Wednesday, which it had reserved on March 21, 2022, after completing the hearing of appeal filed by the convict Pappu.

Additional session judge, court number one, Lucknow, had on August 22, 2009, sentenced Pappu to life imprisonment after conducting his trial.

Pappu is currently in jail.

In its judgment, the bench observed, “The evidence available on record shows that co-accused Balai Singh, who died during the trial, made a disclosure statement in the presence of an independent witness that the pistol used in the murder of Syed Modi along with cartridges was given to him by convict Pappu.”

Later, the materials used during the crime were recovered by the investigating team.

Syed Modi was shot dead on July 28, 1988, by two car-borne assailants.

The CBI took up the investigation and filed a chargesheet against the then Congress MP Sanjay Sinh, Amita Kulkarni Modi, Akhilesh Singh, Balai Singh, Amar Bahadur Singh, Jitendra Singh a.k.a Tinku and Bhagwati Singh a.k.a. Pappu.

All other accused, barring Pappu, were either acquitted by the courts or passed away during the trial.

It was argued on behalf of Pappu that once the main accused were discharged, there remained no motive against him to kill Syed Modi and hence he should be acquitted.

Considering that there was a direct eye witness who identified Pappu, the bench said, “Motive loses its importance because nobody can peep into the mind of a miscreant to know for what purpose he has committed the offence.”