A local court in Delhi convicted only 15 out of 97 accused of burning alive a 70 year old man and his 17 year old physically challenged daughter in the village of Mirchpur in Haryana last year. 82 accused were acquitted in the past hearing. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, however, did not held guilty either of the 15 accused on charges of murder. The court held the 15 accused guilty on the grounds of arson, rioting while the main conspirators consisting of Kulwinder, Ramphal and Rajender were convicted under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC for setting ablaze the house of Tara Chand on April 21.
The incident began due to a minor dispute between a Jat and Dalit youth in the village. As many as 103 people were arrested in this case including 5 minors. The arrests had sparked off massive protests with members of the Jat community who blocked crucial road and rail routes.
The court, in its judgment, pulled up the Haryana police for their role in the case saying the manner in which the whole thing was handled was improper. It said that forensic evidence given by the police was unsubstantial and the the dying testimony of the victim Tara Chand cannot be taken into account. In December last year the Supreme Court had transferred the case from the Hisar court to a Delhi court to ensure a fair and speedy trail.
The Delhi court on Monday is likely to deliver the verdict on the quantum of punishment on the 15 people accused.
Legal news report by Adhir Roy Chowdury