A man, convicted for murdering a taxi driver near Dehradun in 2008 after hiring his cab from here and fleeing with the vehicle, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh held 30-year-old Vipin Kumar Saluja, a Delhi resident, guilty of the offences under various sections of the IPC including 302 (murder), 392 (robbery) and 201 (destruction of evidence) and also imposed a fine of Rs 1.4 lakh on him.
Besides Saluja, the court awarded three-year jail term to 27-year-old Sunil Kumar after convicting him for offence under section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing it to be stolen) of the IPC.
Kumar was acquitted of murder and other heinous charges due to lack of evidence and the court said that since he has been in custody for more than three years in connection with the case, he be released if not wanted in any other case.
“I find that circumstances which have been established qua Vipin Kumar Saluja are complete and conclusive in nature which point to only one conclusion, which is his guilt,” the judge said in the 127-page judgment.
“There is no other explanation to the circumstances established except that it was Saluja who committed the murder of Upender Anand after hiring Toyota Innova vehicle on a false pretext, took away the personal belongings of the deceased and misappropriated the same…..,” the court noted.
The police had initially chargesheeted three persons but during pendency of the trial, the third accused was declared a juvenile and his case sent to juvenile justice board.
Police said while the juvenile had suffered a loss in cricket betting, Kumar, who was running a placement office, had also suffered losses in his business. So both of them along with Saluja planned to loot a vehicle after killing its driver and then sell it through a friend in Madhya Pradesh.
It said that on January 7, 2008, Vipin went to the office of a travel firm here and hired a Toyota Innova vehicle, which was being driven by 25-year-old Upender Anand, on the pretext of going to Mussoorie. On the way, Kumar and the juvenile accused also boarded the vehicle.
On the way back from Mussoorie, they stopped the vehicle in Dehradun, strangled Upender Anand and took away his rings, credit cards, two mobile phones and cash and threw him out.
It said proprietor of the travel firm lodged a complaint that his driver had not returned from Mussorie. Thereafter, through media report, police got to know that Upender’s body had been found at Mussoorie-Dehradun road.
During the probe, the accused were arrested and several robbed articles recovered. Both the accused claimed during the trial that they were falsely implicated.
( Source – PTI )