Dushyant Singh Pundir
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 18
Harmehtab Singh, alias Farid, grandson of Gian Singh Rarewala, a former Chief Minister of the erstwhile Pepsu state, has been held guilty by a local court in the murder case of Akansh Sen (28), nephew of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Goyal today held the accused guilty under Sections 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. The court will pronounce the quantum of the punishment tomorrow.
According to the prosecution, the case dates back to February 9, 2017, when Balraj Singh Randhawa, a resident of Sector 77, Sohana, and Harmehtab, a resident of Landra, Mohali, entered into an altercation with Sen.
After the altercation, Randhawa sat in a BMW car and ran over Sen thrice. Randhawa was stated to be behind the wheel, while co-accused Harmehtab was sitting on the front passenger’s seat. It was stated that Harmehtab instigated Randhawa to run over Sen. After the first hit, he told Randhawa that Sen had not died yet and asked him to reverse the car and run over Sen again. Sen was rushed to the PGI, where he succumbed to his injuries the next day.
According to the prosecution, 13 injuries were mentioned on the body in the postmortem report.
The police had four eyewitnesses — victim’s cousin and complainant Adamaya Rathore and his friends Gagandeep Shera, Karamyog and Rajan Pupneja — in the challan. Besides, the police mentioned 41 witnesses, including policemen and doctors, in the case.
Harmehtab was arrested on February 16, 2017, and he is in jail since his arrest. However, main accused Randhawa was earlier declared a proclaimed offender and is still at large.
During the trial, the defence counsel had argued that the accused was falsely implicated in the case and it was just an accident.
Complainant’s counsel Terminder Singh said there was enough evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and the court convicted the accused after going through the evidence. In their statements, the eyewitnesses mentioned how the accused ran the car over Sen and escaped from the spot, he added.
The counsel also mentioned that the presence of the accused and the witnesses was proved at the spot as blood stains were found on the clothes of Rajan and Karamyog and also on the car of Rajan as well as on the car of the accused and there was no reason to falsely implicate the accused. Akansh Sen was the co-owner of Boom Box Cafe in Sector 9 here.
How the case progressed
Feb 9, 2017: Akansh Sen, nephew of then Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, allegedly run over by a BMW car being driven by Balraj Singh Randhawa after being instigated by Harmehtab to do so following a brawl in a Sector 9 residential area
Feb 10 Victim succumbs to his injuries at the PGI
Feb 15 Harmehtab’s anticipatory bail plea dismissed by a local court
Feb 16 Harmehtab arrested, denies having instigated Balraj to run over Akansh
Feb 20 The BMW car, which was found abandoned at Mandi Gobindgarh, handed over to UT police
Feb 28 Court initiates proceedings to declare Randhawa a proclaimed offender
April 5 Court declares Randhawa a proclaimed offender
May 6 Police file a 443-page chargesheet against Harmehtab under Sections 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC
In this high-profile case, the deceased was the nephew of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, while co-accused Farid is the grandson of Gian Singh Rarewala, a former Chief Minister of the erstwhile Pepsu state.
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