New Delhi: Expressing concern over rise in incidents of moral policing, a Delhi court has said no one can be permitted to take over the state's function while awarding life term to a gunman for firing at a man who was sitting in his car with a woman friend and consuming alcohol.
The court sentenced 32-year-old Sandeep Kumar, a resident of Haryana, to rigorous life term for shooting Virender with his licenced rifle at point blank range which led to his death.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said there can be no justification for any killing and strict action was required to be taken against those indulging into such acts.
"A private security guard waiving a licensed revolver to scare or threaten a young couple sitting in a private vehicle outside a wine shop is an act which perhaps may offend the social sensibilities of some, but this act of use of firearm in this manner is totally unjustified and illegal," the court said.
"I may observe that of late large numbers of instances of moral policing by groups and individuals, all in the name of preserving the culture of the country have come to light and most of the time the targets are young women.
"No doubt, public behaviour of individuals has to conform to social sensibilities but having said so, it is equally important for me to observe that the courts of Law cannot permit our country which is governed by Rule of Law to be run over by individuals and groups indulging into moral policing by taking over the functions of the State," the judge said.
The court diluted the charge of murder and convicted Kumar for the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
It also imposed a fine of Rs 1.02 lakh on Kumar and said, if realised, Rs one lakh be given to the family members of 30-year-old Virender.
According to the prosecution, the incident took place on August 20, 2011 when Virender was sitting in his car with his friend outside a wine shop in Ashok Vihar area and they were consuming beer.
Sandeep was employed with a private firm as a gunman and on the day of incident he had come to the wine shop in a cash collection van along with the cashiers and driver.
Initially, there was a parking dispute between Sandeep and Virender but it was sorted out. Thereafter, when Virender and the woman were consuming beer, Sandeep started staring her which was objected by them. This led to an altercation between Virender and Sandeep who came near the car and a scuffle took place in which a shot was fired killing the victim and injuring the woman.
They were taken to a hospital where Virender, who was shot at his head, was declared brought dead by the doctors and the girl was treated for injury on her finger.
Sandeep was also held guilty for causing hurt by dangerous weapon, word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman under the IPC and under provision of the Arms Act. Sandeep sought leniency on the ground that he has to support his family and has a bright future and any harsh view would ruin his carrier.