Additional district judge Sunil Kumar Goyal of a special court in Alwar convicted Naresh, Vijay, Paramjeet and Dharmendra, and acquitted another accused “with the benefit of doubt”. The court said not enough evidence was produced against Nawal Kishor Sharma, the fifth suspect in the case.
Khan succumbed to his injuries on July 21, allegedly at Ramgarh police station. He was taken to the community health centre where he was declared dead on arrival. His companion Aslam had managed to escape during the attack the night before.
The court convicted the four under IPC Section 304(1) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint). The quartet will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,500 each, in addition to serving time in jail. Although Khan’s friends and family welcomed the verdict, some were not happy with the sentence.
It appears the public prosecutor failed to argue the case properly. This is the reason why the accused got seven years instead of life imprisonment. We will appeal against this order in the high court, said Sher Mohammed of Meo Panchayat.
“Accused Nawal Kishor was acquitted… We will decide our next course of action related to appeal against the order after getting the final copy of the court judgment,” said Khan’s counsel Ashok Sharma. For his part, Kishor said he has full faith in the judiciary and will appeal against the conviction of “our fellows”. According to Hemraj Gupta, counsel for the accused, the court ignored a judicial inquiry against the police officers that held them guilty because the death happened “in judicial custody”.
Police were hard-pressed to explain what took them so long to bring the victim to the health centre. Police later admitted there was a delay in taking Khan to the hospital, but dismissed allegations of “custodial death”. They said local cops made an “error in judgment” in assessing the situation. Later police suspended an ASI, then acting incharge of Ramgarh police station and sent three constables to police lines.