Laila Khan Murder: Court To Pronounce Quantum Of Punishment On May 24

Laila Khan Murder: Court To Pronounce Quantum Of Punishment On May 24

The prosecution has sought capital punishment while the defence has pleaded for leniency as the prison authorities where Tak is lodged have submitted a report saying his conduct in prison had been good.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 11:27 PM IST
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Deceased actress Laila Khan | | X

The sessions court, which held stepfather Parvez Tak guilty of killing actor Laila Khan and five members of her family, will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday.

The prosecution has sought capital punishment while the defence has pleaded for leniency as the prison authorities where Tak is lodged have submitted a report saying his conduct in prison had been good.

Tak, a resident of Kashmir and third husband of Khan’s mother Shelina, was arrested on July 8, 2012. Fourteen years after the murders, the court recently pronounced him guilty of killing Laila, 30, her elder sister Azmina, 32, twin siblings Zara and Imran, 25, cousins Reshma and Shelina, 51. The family had gone missing in February 2011 from Mumbai. Their bodies were discovered over a year later, in July 2012, buried inside a pit at the actor’s farmhouse in Igatpuri.

On Tuesday, the defence lawyer Wahab Khan moved as many as eight applications pleading for adjournment and various reports, including his medical record, psychological evaluation, a report from the probation officer, a report on his socioeconomic condition, and a report on his home conditions. The court rejected all the pleas, directing the defence to argue on the mitigation circumstances as against the aggravating circumstances.

Tak’s lawyer Wahab Khan contended that the report from the prison authorities had been called, which stated that Tak had been good in prison and had also pursued further education through distance learning. Arguing that there is a possibility of reformation, Khan said there had been no complaints against him in prison.

Besides, Khan said the evidence for which Tak is convicted for murder are all circumstantial and not direct. “He has not been found guilty for the charges of robbery, kidnapping and conspiracy. Besides, the court has also discarded the motive that Tak wanted to push girls into prostitution in Dubai and they were resisting. This shows that the act would have been held to be spontaneous as there was a quarrel between Tak and Laila’s mother Shelina,” Khan argued.

“There is no evidence, as to who started the arguments and what was the reason who began assaulting first. Also another accused, Shakir Hussein is absconding. Possibly he has killed them and Tak was just there. Tak has been held guilty only based on the fact that the family members were last seen with him and bodies were recovered at his instance,” Khan contended pointing out that the evidence is not good enough to hang Tak.

Tak on the other hand had pleaded that he has a family to look after his wife had been working in an orphanage and gets only Rs 5000 from which is not enough for their survival. Also, he has very old parents to look after and pleaded for leniency.

Public prosecutor Pankaj Chavan on Friday sought the death penalty for Tak, while referring to the guidelines set by the apex court. Chavan said that the murders were committed in an inhumane way as the victims were helpless women and children, and one of them was also a public figure. He contended that the case satisfies all the conditions set out by the top court to award a capital punishment.

“They (victims) trusted him (Tak) hence they went with him. He was the husband of one and father of others. He has killed six people in one go in their own house,” Chavan argued.

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