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Lawyer’s murder: Court reserves order on quantum of sentence

Bombay High Court

A Mumbai court today reserved its order on quantum of sentence to be awarded to a person convicted for killing 25-year-old

Bombay-High-Court-Mumbai-1Mumbai: A Mumbai court today reserved its order on quantum of sentence to be awarded to a person convicted for killing 25-year-old city-based lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha in 2012.

Sessions Judge Vrushali Joshi said she would pronounce the sentence on Monday after the prosecution concluded its arguments on sentence seeking award of death penalty to convict Mughal Ahmed Mughal.

However, the defence counsel sought leniency for his client and pleaded for a life term instead of death penalty saying that the offence did not fall under the “rarest of the rare cases”. The court earlier this week convicted Mughal, who worked as a security guard at the building in suburban Wadala where the victim lived, for murder, molestation and criminal trespass.

During the arguments on sentencing, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam listed as many as ten ‘aggravating circumstances’ to justify death sentence for the accused.

Mughal was a security guard whose job was to protect but he committed a crime. “By committing the crime the accused betrayed the confidence, faith and trust of Pallavi and if any lesser punishment is awarded then it will be a mockery of justice,” Nikam said.

Nikam also argued that Mughal was in fact guilty of two murders – of Pallavi and also of her fiancĂ© Avik Sengupta, who died of brain hemorrhage in November 2013.

“Avik died of a mental shock,” Nikam said.

The special prosecutor also argued that it was a premeditated crime, pointing out that before going to her flat and assaulting her, Mughal inquired if Avik was home.

The crime was committed with exceptional brutality – there were 16 external injuries on her body, he said. “Pallavi resisted but was helpless and she pleaded for mercy,” argued Nikam.

The prosecution also argued that Mughal enjoyed the act of killing and showed no remorse afterwards.

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