Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau awarded the jail term to 25-year-old Rakesh for stabbing victim Suraj with a knife leading to his death, saying he did not hesitate to take law in his hands and evidence showed that he had the habit of snatching money from poor persons.
"The convict has no value for human life. He has taken away the life of a young man aged 32 years who had come to Delhi to earn his living only because the poor boy could not satisfy his (convict's) addictive urge for a cigarette," the court said and also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 upon Rakesh.
According to the prosecution, the incident took place on the evening of November 27, 2010 in Sultanpuri area when Rakesh had demanded a cigarette from Suraj.
The police said Suraj had gone to the market with his uncle and cousin and on their way back to home, they started smoking 'beedi'. In the meantime, accused Rakesh who was known to them asked the victim to give him a cigarette.
The victim told him that he did not have a cigarette following which Rakesh threatened to kill him if he failed to provide him with the same.
Due to Suraj's inability to give cigarette, Rakesh took out a knife and stabbed him on his chest, it said.
Suraj's relatives, who were standing at a distance, threw a brick on the accused after which he fled from the spot and they took the injured to a hospital where he was declared brought dead by the doctors, the police said.
Rakesh was arrested by the police the next day and the knife used in the crime was recovered from him.
While holding the accused guilty of Suraj's murder, the judge said the courts cannot ignore the conditions prevailing in the country where "law and order situation has deteriorated and worsened in the recent past".
"Young persons are taking law into their hands by indiscriminate use of dangerous weapons and are spreading terror in society and adversely affecting the social order and faith of the people in the system," the court said.
The court also said that no leniency can be shown to persons who have no respect for life.
"Anyone who does not hesitate to take the law into his hands for petty issues does not deserve any leniency and any indulgence by the court, under these circumstances, can be misplaced," the judge said.
The court also said that whatever had happened at the spot was all of a sudden and the victim was killed only because the accused was annoyed at him for not giving him a cigarette and no motive can be attributed to the accused.
The judge, however, said, "I may observe that motive assumes secondary role and even if there was no motive of crime or the motive to commit the crime is not fully established, even then, the same would not fatal be the case of prosecution as prosecution case stands proved from the other evidence which is found to be truthful and reliable".