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Phoolan murder: Court to pronounce quantum of sentence on Aug14

New Delhi: A Delhi court today fixed August 14 for pronouncing the quantum of sentence against Sher Singh Rana for the murder of bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi here in 2001 with the prosecution seeking death penalty
India TV News Desk August 12, 2014 18:08 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: A Delhi court today fixed August 14 for pronouncing the quantum of sentence against Sher Singh Rana for the murder of bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi here in 2001 with the prosecution seeking death penalty for him.

Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar reserved the judgement after hearing the arguments on quantum of sentence during which the prosecution contended that Rana had committed Phoolan's murder in a pre-planned and meticulous manner.  The prosecution said that Rana should be given death penalty for the heinous crime as a person like him is a threat to the society.

“It is an offence of murder which was committed in a pre-planned manner and was meticulously executed by him (Rana). Keeping in view the impact on the society...I request the court to award death penalty,” the prosecution said.  The counsel appearing for Rana, however, opposed the contentions of the prosecution saying that the police have miserably failed to prove the motive behind the murder.

Countering the claims of the police regarding Rana's criminal antecedents, the defence counsel said that he has been acquitted in other cases and even the eyewitnesses in the case have been disbelieved by this court.  “More than one person were involved in this case but the court has acquitted them,” he said, adding that considering the age of the convict, the court should award the lesser sentence to him.

After the arguments concluded, Rana submitted before the court that his image has been tarnished by the police by lodging “false cases” against him.

“In these 13 years (since his arrest in 2001), nobody can say that I have done anything wrong,” he said.  As soon as he started advancing submissions as to why he had escaped from Tihar jail in 2004, the court said it has nothing to do with it.

“I have nothing to do with it. You have been held guilty and you will get either death penalty or life imprisonment,” the judge said.

Rana, however, urged the court, which reserved its order for August 14 that it should pardon him once.  “You (judge) have pardoned the prosecution in this case so please pardon me also,” he said, adding, “I request you to write such a judgement so that I could get acquittal soon”.  He also told the judge, “You are sitting on the chair of the God and what you say here comes directly from the God's mouth.”

The court had on August 8 convicted Rana while it acquitted 10 other co-accused in the sensational murder of Phoolan who was then a Lok Sabha member.  Rana was held guilty of offences under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) under the IPC in the case.

37-year-old Phoolan, then a Samajwadi Party MP from Mirzapur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, was shot dead from close range by three masked gunmen in front of her Ashoka Road residence here in the heart of the capital's VIP area as she returned home for lunch after attending the Lok Sabha on July 25, 2001.

The 10 co-accused acquitted in the case were—Dhan Prakash, Shekhar Singh, Rajbir Singh, Vijay Singh alias Raju (Rana's brother), Rajender Singh alias Ravinder Singh, Keshav Chauhan, Praveen Mittal, Amit Rathi, Surender Singh Negi alias Suri and Sharavan Kumar.

The proceedings against accused Pradeep Singh were abated as he died in Tihar Jail in November last year.