The Delhi High Court has sentenced two persons to seven years in jail for killing a street vendor by hitting him with a gas cylinder after he asked them to pay for a plate of momos. The high court, while deciding the appeals of the two men, reduced their sentence from life imprisonment awarded to them by a trial court which had convicted them for the offence of murder. It reduced the jail term after modifying their conviction for offence of murder to causing death of a person without any intention.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta considered that both men were of young age at the time of the incident in 2012 and had no history of any criminal activity. Their conduct in the jail was also found to be satisfactory. The court, however, maintained the conviction of Najafgarh residents Dharmendra and Jitender for the offence of attempt to murder. It also imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 each on both convicts.
The two men were held guilty by a trial court for murdering momos vendor Monu and attempting to kill his relative Ravi who tried to save the victim. According to the prosecution, the incident took place on January 8, 2012, when Ravi and his nephew Monu were selling momos in Najafgarh area in south west Delhi in the evening.
A man came there and ordered momos and when Monu asked for payment, he threw the plate on the victim’s face and threatened him, it had said. After sometime, the man along with some of his associates returned to the eatery with sticks and started beating the two vendors with sticks and gas cylinder. They both fell unconscious. While Ravi was discharged from hospital after some days, Monu succumbed to injuries.
During the trial, the accused had claimed innocence and said they were falsely implicated in the case. While modifying the conviction, the high court noted that the attack on the two was preceded by an altercation which in turn arose as a result of the deceased demanding money for momos and that the attack was “not premeditated”.
“It was on the spur of the moment in the heat of passion. Further, it was a single blow which did not immediately result in the death of the deceased. After undergoing treatment for 15 days for the single head injury the deceased succumbed. All these factors collectively considered persuade the court to hold that the offence was one of culpable homicide not amounting to murder,” the bench said.
The court added that it cannot be said that the accused intended to kill the victim although they should be attributed the knowledge that the injury on his head with sticks would in all likelihood cause death.