New Delhi : In a fresh twist in the shootout case involving liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep, a Delhi court has dropped murder charge against all 21 accused including sacked Uttarakhand minorities panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari.

The court, however, added offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the alleged main conspirator Namdhari and his Personal Security Officer Sachin Tyagi. It
entails maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The sessions court gave elaborate reasons for dropping murder charge and invoking culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Namdhari and Sachin. It said, November 17, 2012 shootout that resulted in the killing of Ponty and Hardeep “seems to be an event which happened suddenly or unexpectedly”.
The charges will be framed formally against all the 21 accused on Wednesday.
The remaining 19 accused were charged under attempt to murder in connection with the incident.
Besides attempt to murder, the court has also ordered framing of various charges against them under provisions of IPC, including dacoity, rioting with deadly weapons, house trespass, illegal confinement, kidnapping, causing grievous harm and destruction of evidence.
Ponty and Hardeep were also charge sheeted in the case. However, the trial has abated as they were killed in the shootout. The court also ordered framing of criminal conspiracy, common intention and those under the Arms Act against all the 21 accused, for trying to take over the disputed farmhouse from the possession of Hardeep.

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