District Judge Rajendra Majgaonkar pronounced the punishment to Firoz Khan (38), hailing from Uttar Pradesh, and Jahir Khan (45), a native of Vasai area here, on Saturday and also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 each on them.
Another gang member, Ganesh Waghmare (32), was awarded three years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 was slapped on him, while another accused, Sayeed Khan (62), was acquitted for want of sufficient evidence against him.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons approached the victim, Prakash Shinde (40), at Bhiwandi town in the neighbouring Thane district on November 27, 2014 and hired his jeep for Rs 1,500 for a trip.
While Shinde was driving the jeep, the accused offered him a drink laced with sedative. After he became unconscious, they pushed him out of the jeep and crushed him under its wheels at Chinchpada village on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway, the prosecution said.
The accused then fled and sold the vehicle outside the state.
The investigating officer in the case told the court that the modus operandi of the gang members was to approach a driver, hire his vehicle and then rob and kill him and sell the vehicle.
Relying on the evidences, the judge observed that the prosecution proved the charges against the accused.
He pronounced Firoz Khan and Jahir Khan guilty under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison with intent to commit an offence), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery).
Besides, Waghmare was convicted under IPC Section 411.