Dushyant Singh Pundir
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 20
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Goyal today awarded life imprisonment till death to Harmehtab Singh Rarewala, alias Farid, for the murder of Akansh Sen, nephew of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, in 2017.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on the convict, grandson of former PEPSU Chief Minister Gian Singh Rarewala. However, the convict did not pay the penalty.
As per the prosecution, Sen was allegedly run over by a BMW car following a brawl in Sector 9 on February 9, 2017. Balraj Singh Randhawa was driving the car, while Harmehtab instigated him to do so. Harmehtab was arrested on February 16, 2017, whereas Randhawa was declared a proclaimed offender and is still at large.
In a statement made before the court, Harmehtab submitted, “I am innocent. I have not been convicted earlier. I cleared my diploma in human rights during the period of stay at Model Jail, Burail, and further enrolled for a Master’s in English from IGNOU, New Delhi. A lenient view may kindly be taken.”
Harmehtab’s counsel argued that the murder was not committed due to a greed for money or any property dispute. He added that it happened in the heat of the moment and, hence, it was not a case fit for awarding the capital punishment.
Public Prosecutor Rajinder Singh, however, opposed the request made by the defence counsel by contending that convict Harmehtab, without any reason, intentionally committed the murder of a young person.
Even though he was not accused of any criminal offence in the past, the ghastly crime committed by him did not in any manner entitle him to any sort of leniency.
The Judge ruled that life imprisonment was the rule and the capital sentence was an exception to be resorted to for special reasons to be stated. “It is a well-settled proposition of law that for awarding the capital punishment, the case has to fall within the category of the rarest of the rare cases in which the present case does not fall inasmuch as the convict has no criminal tendency and in the past, except the present case, he has never been accused of a criminal offence let alone being convicted,” he added.
The judgment further said, “No doubt, killing a person is a heinous and brutal crime but at the same time, it is not possible to hold that it falls in the category of the rarest of rare cases because it is difficult to say that the convict is a menace to society and there is no reason to believe that he cannot be reformed or rehabilitated and that he is likely to continue criminal acts of violence as would constitute a continuing threat to society. Hence, the extreme penalty of the death sentence is not required to be awarded to the convict in the present case.”
The court sentenced Harmehtab to undergo imprisonment for life which shall continue till the end of his natural life and pay fine of Rs 3,00,000 for the commission of offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC.
Police fail to nab prime accused
Despite being a high-profile case, the police have failed to arrest main accused Balraj Singh Randhawa.
‘I am innocent’
I am innocent. I have not been convicted earlier. I cleared my diploma in human rights during the period of stay at Model Jail, Burail, and further enrolled for a Master’s in English from IGNOU, New Delhi. A lenient view may kindly be taken. — Harmehtab to court
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