New Delhi: A Delhi court today convicted key accused Sher Singh Rana in the 13-year-old sensational murder of bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi, who was then a Lok Sabha member, in front of her Ashoka Road residence here.
Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar, however, acquitted 10 other accused in the case due to lack of evidence against them.
“Except Sher Singh Rana, I am acquitting all the accused. Sher Singh Rana is convicted for the offences under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) under the IPC,” the judge said and fixed the matter for August 12 for arguments and pronouncement of quantum of sentence.
As soon as the judge pronounced the judgement, 38 year-old Rana said, “Why have you convicted only me. Others were also there.”
The judge, however, said that he can file an appeal before the high court challenging the order.
“I have passed the judgement, you can file an appeal in the high court,” the judge said. The court acquitted Dhan Prakash, Shekhar Singh, Rajbir Singh, Vijay Singh alias Raju (Rana’s brother), Rajender Singh alias Ravinder Singh, Keshav Chauhan, Praveen Mittal, Amit Rathi, Surender Singh Negi alias Suri and Sharavan Kumar.
The proceedings against accused Pradeep Singh were abated after he died in Tihar Jail in November 2013.
Rana, Shekhar Singh, Rajbir Singh and Sharavan Kumar were produced in the court from judicial custody while other accused were on bail.
37-year-old Phoolan was shot dead from close range by three masked gunmen in the heart of the capital’s VIP area as she returned home for lunch after attending Lok Sabha on July 25, 2001.
Delhi Police had chargesheeted 11 men accusing them of eliminating Phoolan to avenge the 1981 Behmai massacre in which she had allegedly killed a number of Thakurs.
The charge sheet had named Rana, Dhan Prakash, Shekhar Singh, Rajbir Singh, Vijay Singh, Rajender Singh, Keshav Chauhan, Praveen Mittal, Amit Rathi, Surender Singh Negi and Pradeep Singh as accused.