All four persons accused of murdering yesteryear's film actress Priya Rajvansh more than two years ago were on Wednesday convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a sessions court in Mumbai.
Rajvansh, long-time companion of the late filmmaker Chetan Anand, was found murdered at her bungalow on March 27, 2000. Police filed a charge sheet on July 1 that year naming Anand's sons Ketan and Vivek, a maidservant Mala Choudhary, and her distant relative Ashok Chinnaswamy as the culprits.
On Wednesday, Judge S P Nikam held all the four accused guilty of the crime and sentenced them to life in prison under sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. They were immediately taken into custody.
Chetan Anand, elder brother of yesteryear's film star Dev Anand and filmmaker Vijay Anand, and director of such acclaimed films as Haqeeqat and Heer Ranjha, died on July 6, 1997. In his will, he left three quarters of his bungalow at Juhu to Priya Rajvansh and the rest to his two sons. Police said this was one of the reasons for her murder.
Gullu Singh, Rajvansh's brother who had arrived from London on Tuesday, was pleased with the verdict. "At last she will rest peacefully in her grave and her soul will be happy," he told rediff.com "I am grateful to the Indian judiciary that they did justice to my sister."
Singh, who said Rajvansh had indicated to him earlier that her life was in danger, expressed gratitude to Siddharth Kak and all the others who bore witness in her favour in the course of the trial.
Justice delayed may not always be justice denied
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