Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday commuted the death sentence of the main accused, Pawan Kumar Mittal, in the Manjunath murder case to life imprisonment.
The court also acquitted two others, Harish Misra and Sanjay Awasthi.
The division bench pronounced this judgement on the appeals of these convicts against a Kheri sessions court judgement on 23 March 2007.
Manjunath, a sales officer of Indian Oil Corporation and an IIM lucknow graduate, was killed in 2005 allegedly after he brought to light the adulteration racket at the Mittal petrol pump in Kheri.
Reacting to Friday’s judgment, Anjali Mullati, an IIM-Lucknow alumnus who is the founding member of Manjunath Shanmugam Trust, said ” It has sent a powerful message to corrupt elements and law breakers. We feel vindicated by the judgement and it has reaffirmed our faith in the system. We have fought hard and clean. We would not appeal against the death penalty being commuted to life imprisonment, as we want justice, not vengeance.
I.B.Singh, lawyer for the Manjunath Trust, told Mint, ”We will read the judgement to know the grounds on which the decision of a death sentence was commuted to life term .