A local court has sentenced four persons, including a former mayor, to life imprisonment in a 2008 murder case but acquitted a BJP MLA and eight others. Sessions Court Judge S R Kadam, while pronouncing the judgement yesterday, sentenced former mayor Sandeep Kotkar, his brothers Sachin and Amol and his father, Bhanudas, after they were found guilty of killing lottery ticket seller Ashok Lande at Kedgaon village in Ahmednagar in 2008.
The court sentenced Bhanudas, then Ahmednagar Congress chief, to life imprisonment along with two year of rigorous imprisonment for causing disappearance of evidence and slapped a fine of Rs 3,000. Both the sentences will run concurrently.
The other three accused Sandeep, Sachin and Amol were awarded life term by the Judge who also directed them to pay a fine of Rs 5,000.
Public Prosecutor Sudhir Kotwal, in his submission, told the court that Sandeep, along with his brothers and father, assaulted Lande on May 19, 2008, with iron rods and sword over his alleged love affair.
Lande succumbed to injuries in a hospital and a case of accidental death was lodged, the prosecutor said.
Later, Lande’s friend Shankar Raut filed an application in the court in this regard, which directed the police to file an FIR.
A case was lodged in September, 2009, under sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 214 (offering gift or restoration of property in consideration of screening offender) and other relevant sections of IPC in this connection, he said.
The FIR had also named sitting BJP MLA from Rahuri in Ahmedanagar district Shivaji Kardile who allegedly offered Rs 4.5 lakh through a mediator to the Lande’s parents for keeping mum during the investigations.
Raut later moved the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court stating that the case be transfered to another court as it involves influential politicians. The case was then transfered to Nashik district court in 2014, Kotwal said.
The court acquitted Kardile and eight others due to lack of evidence against them.