Monday 26 March
Justice at last. A district court in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Khiri district sent to gallows a petrol pump owner for murdering Indian Oil executive
Manjunath, (left in the picture) who had exposed a thriving racket in the sale of adulterated fuel. While awarding death sentence to Pawan Kumar Mittal, the prime accused, sixteen months after the murder of the 27-year-old IIM-Lucknow graduate, District Judge S M A Abidi, sentenced seven other accused to life imprisonment. Delivering the verdict before a packed court room after a year-long trial, the judge described the shocking killing of the whistle-blower as a rarest of rarest case. Manjunath was shot dead at a petrol pump in Gola area in Lakhimpur Kheri district on November 19, 2005 after he threatened to cancel Mittal's license for selling spurious fuel. While handing over the capital punishment to Mittal, the judge said the sentence shall remain suspended and will not be executed unless it was confirmed by the High Court.