Thane: A 29-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here for killing his friend in 2011 after a dispute over money to purchase liquor.
Thane Additional Sessions Judge M C Khadke pronounced the verdict yesterday after observing that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that accused Raja Reddy Rathod had committed the gruesome crime and deserved the punishment.
APP Hemlata Deshmukh, who appeared along with advocate Akshata Kulkarni-Jere for the prosecution, told the court that the accused Raju alias Raja Reddy Rathod and the victim Vishal Patil (27) were friends. The duo used to consume alcohol together and the victim had become an addict. He used to frequently ask for money from Raju, which became a cause of rift between the two, the prosecution told the court.
On June 26, 2011, there a quarrel between the two over the money issue and a non-cognisable offence was lodged with the police by the accused. Later on June 30, Vishal picked up a fight over the issue and allegedly bashed up Raja who in a fit of rage attacked him on his head with an axe, resulting in his death on the spot, the prosecution told the court.
The court was also told that the accused thereafter went straight to the police station and narrated the entire incident and confessed to the crime following which he was arrested. The incident itself took place near Saibanagar and Manisha Nagar here behind the local crematorium.
The judge after hearing both the prosecution and the defence counsel Ramrao Jagtap held that it was the accused who was responsible for the crime and sentenced him to life. Raju was charged under section 302 of the IPC.