Court awards life-imprisonment in murder over land dispute


Jammu, Jan 24: Additional Sessions Judge Rajouri Mehmood Choudhary today awarded life-imprisonment to Romesh Kumar S/o Tara Chand who was facing trial in murder over land dispute.
Court acquitted brother Ram Lal, his wife Kunti Devi and his close relative Tara Chand and his wife Pushpa Devi from the charges.
Brief facts of the case 19.07.2016, at 12:45 AM an information received in the police station through reliable sources that one Jia Lal S/o Balak Ram and Tara Chand were having enmity with respect to land and on last night at 11:30 PM. Jia Lal along with his family members were ploughing their own land. In the meantime, Tara Chand along with other accused with the intention of committing murder enter into the said land and attacked upon the Jia Lal and his family members with lathis, dandas and stones in resulting grievous injuries caused to them. Deceased Jia Lal succumb to the injuries and died on spot while other injured were taken to Sunderbani Hospital and dead body of the deceased is lying on the spot. Prima-facie offence u/s 302/34 RPC committed. Accordingly, FIR No. 46/2016 was registered in the police station Sunderbani and investigation of the case was commenced.
Additional Sessions Judge Rajouri Mehmood Choudhary after hearing both the sides observed that it has been brought in the notice of the Court during hearing on quantum of sentence that accused is a first time offender. He is a teacher by profession, having children and wife who is also a government teacher. So, the wife and children have sufficient means to live a dignified life. It was argued that awarding of death penalty will cost the whole family hugely and will get wreck completely. Now their any hope of survival will be just a hope to see him alive in jail and an expectation of him to be released at any stage of time. On the other hand, I do not find any such gravest aggravating circumstance which is so uncommon in our society about the said crime committed. As per the case history, the people of the locality at the earliest stage of the investigation were quite shocking of the murder of the deceased, under the impression that the brother of the deceased and his close relative has killed the deceased as their hostility with the dispute of land was known to all neighbourers. And then on hearing the news of murder of the deceased there was wide condemnation of the relatives. However, when investigation proceeded further and accused persons got unveiled as the killer, the euphoria came down as it was not something as so exceptional happened in the area. Does not look to be so uncommon to entail death penalty for the accused. However, brother of the deceased Ram Lal, his wife Kunti Devi and his close relative Tara Chand and his wife Pushpa Devi have been acquitted and only the convict found involved in the murder of the deceased. Therefore, taking a joint and holistic view of the circumstances, I am of the considered view that in the facts and circumstances of this case as revealed in the preceding paras, the life imprisonment is the appropriate punishment to be awarded to the convict for commission of murder of the deceased with fine @ Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand only). JNF

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