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Brother Pravin held guilty
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, December 17
Pravin Mahajan has been found guilty of murdering his brother and BJP leader Pramod Mahajan. Pramod, who was shot on April 22, 2006, at his home in Mumbai, had died in a hospital 12 days later.

Pravin, who allegedly surrendered to the police after pulling the trigger on his brother, was found guilty of murder by a sessions court.

The sentencing of Pravin will happen in the next few days. Judge S.P. Davare pronounced Pravin guilty of murder and trespassing into the house of Pramod Mahajan with the intention of committing an offence.

The sentence came after the judge found Pravin guilty based on the statements Pramod made to his wife, his brother-in-law and BJP leader Gopinath Munde nd his servant Mahesh on his way to the hospital.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said he would plead for an appropriate sentence against Pravin based on the judgement delivered by the court.

Pravin Mahajan later told reporters outside the court that he expected the guilty verdict. “I am not surprised. For the past 10 days I have been hearing the dictation of the judgement,” Pravin said.

Pravin’s wife Sarangi appeared before his side in tears. No relatives of Pramod were present at the court though Prakash, the eldest of the Mahajan brothers, was present.

“We are not in a state to give any reaction...the death of Pramod was a very sad event for the family. Pravin should be punished for what he has done,” Prakash said.

The case had taken a number of twists and turns before today’s verdict.

Though Pravin had surrendered before the police shortly after committing the crime, the defence found a number of loopholes in the prosecution’s case. Pravin’s confession, taken by a senior police official, was not taken under oath before a magistrate due to which it could not be taken as evidence at the trial.

Police investigators were also accused of tampering with Pramod’s mobile phone after the prosecution submitted that Pravin had sent a threatening SMS to the late BJP leader. The defence produced an expert who proved that SMS messages present inside a mobile phone could be fabricated.

However, the court relied on forensic and circumstantial evidence to arrive at the judgement.

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