Monica Bedi’s conviction upheld, sentence reduced

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of actress Monika Bedi, girlfriend of underworld don Abu Salem, in the fake passport case but reduced her sentence to period of jail term she had already undergone. A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar rejected Monika’s plea that she could not be convicted in India as it would amount to ‘double jeopardy’ since she had been convicted by the Portugal court for the same offence.

The apex court, however, reduced her sentence to the period of imprisonment she had already undergone (two-and-half years).

The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing Monika’s appeal challenging her conviction and five years sentence awarded by a sessions court in Hyderabad and reduced to three years by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The apex court also upheld the conviction of two other co-accused in the case

Man gets death sentence for raping, killing child

A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district Wednesday sentenced a man to death for the rape and murder of a minor girl, police said.

Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Singh handed down the death sentence to Guddu alias Jitendra Kumar, a native of Gajnera village in Bareilly, some 250 km from here.

Kumar had raped the girl in 2007 in fields in Bhuta town of Bareilly and later killed her by slitting her throat.

The girl’s father Pappu Saxena alias Krishna Kant had lodged an FIR against Kumar Jan 30, 2007, after which Kumar was arrested, a police official said.

‘The judge heard around 10 witnesses before pronouncing the death penalty,’ police inspector Pankaj Awasthi told reporters in Bareilly.

BKI terrorist Jagtar Hawara’s death sentence commuted to life

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday commuted to a life term the death sentence awarded to notorious Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara.

Hawara was a mastermind of the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh at the high-security state secretariat complex here Aug 31, 1995.

The high court, however, upheld the death sentence to terrorist Balwant Singh, who had not opposed the gallows awarded to him after a 11-year-old trial in a special trial court here July 2007.

The high court also upheld the life sentence of three others who were convicted for the conspiracy behind Beant Singh’s assassination. They are Shamsher Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Lakhwinder Singh.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here had July 2007 sentenced the two BKI terrorists – Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh – to death in the assassination case.

While Hawara was the mastermind of the assassination, Balwant Singh was the second human bomb to be used in case the first failed to kill Beant Singh. Balwant Singh, during the entire trial, had admitted that he was alone responsible for the killing of Beant Singh.

A sixth person convicted in the same case under the Explosives Act, Naseeb Singh, was awarded 10 years imprisonment by the court. However, he had already completed 12 years behind bars by then.

All six were last week convicted by the special CBI court in the conspiracy of assassinating Beant Singh.

The former chief minister (1992-95), who was largely credited with wiping out terrorism from Punjab by dealing with scourge with an iron hand along with supercop K.P.S. Gill.