The conviction and life term awarded to five persons for the murder of a youth in 2009 on the Ridge road near Dhaula Kuan here has been placed before the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court as the two judges hearing the appeals have differed in their views.
Justice Gita Mittal, who headed the division bench hearing the appeals of the five, said they ought to be acquitted as the prosecution has failed to establish any common intention between the five to commit the murder, there was delay in lodging an FIR and there was no evidence that the convicts were in vehicle from which the weapons were found.
Justice R K Gauba, differing with the view of Justice Mittal, said the complicity of each appellant has been proved through cogent evidence by the prosecution beyond the pale of all doubts and thus, there was no reason to interfere with the trial court's decision of July 2015 to convict them.
Justice Gauba also said that five hours delay in lodging of the FIR, where events were moving at a fast pace, cannot result in rejection of the complaint as ante-timed.
According to the police, on February 22, 2009 some persons travelling in an Indica car had chased a black Santro car and near Simon Boliver Marg T-point on the Ridge road they had shot dead one of the occupants of the first car and also injured another.
The trial court had held that the appellants — Sushil Arora, Rajesh Pandey, Hemant Garg, Vishnu and Sonveer — had conspired to commit the murder after a quarrel between them and the acquaintances of the murdered youth, Ankit, over default of a loan of Rs 10 lakh.
According to the police, the loan to Sushil Arora was given by one Mahender Singh and when he had not repaid it, Singh had gone to collect the amount with some of his friends, including Ankit.
After a quarrel over the repayment, Singh and others left in two cars, one of them a black Santro in which Ankit was travelling, police said and added that when the black car reached Buddha garden they stopped for buying soft drinks and it was then when the other side overtook them and started firing at them.
In the resultant firing Ankit was shot in the head, and later died in hospital, while another occupant of the car was injured in his leg by a bullet, police said.