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SC upholds acquittal of ex-Armyman in murder case

It is “unfortunate that a crime is going unpunished”. This was the observation and finding of the Delhi High Court as it acquitted a former Army officer in a 34-year-old murder of a Delhi businessman, saying it “cannot hang any person” if evidence on record does not conclusively establish his guilt.

The order has now been upheld as “plausible, logical and persuasive” by the Supreme Court that also rapped the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for failing to bring home the guilt of the accused.

The case relates to the murder of a famous Delhi businessman, 40-year-old Kishan Sikand, who was killed in a blast when he opened a parcel containing explosives at his residence in Delhi’s upmarket Sunder Nagar on October 2, 1982.

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) SJ Chaudhary, now 78, who was convicted and sentenced to life term 
by a lower court after facing trial for 26 years, was acquitted by the High Court in 2009 after being absolved of charges of murder and under the Explosive Substances Act.

The order was upheld by the Apex Court, which observed that “CBI has failed to bring home the guilt of the accused”.

The CBI had alleged that Chaudhary had been threatening Sikand over his romantic involvement with his wife Rani Chaudhary and he was held for the crime.

In May 2009, Chaudhary was acquitted by the high court which had said it was “unfortunate that a crime is going unpunished”.

It had noted that though Chaudhary had a motive to kill as he was opposed to Sikand’s plans to marry Rani, CBI had not produced proof that could nail the former Army officer.
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