The Delhi High Court on Wednesday acquitted Romesh Sharma, alleged aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, and his girl friend Tejinder Virdi alias Dolly in the Kunjum Budhiraja murder case of March 1999.
A Division Bench of the Court headed by Pradeep Nandrajog acquitted the two saying that the prosecution had failed to prove that the two had conspired to kill Kunjum.
“There is no evidence to establish that he (Romesh Sharma) conspired from Tihar Central Jail here with Dolly and other accused persons to murder Kunjum,’’ the Bench said.
However, the Court upheld the conviction and award of life imprisonment to the other four accused in the case by the lower court. They are Romesh Sharma’s nephew Surinder Mishra and hired killers Hemchand, Santram and Ramesh.
The lower court had in 2008 convicted all the six accused and awarded life imprisonment to them on the twin charges of criminal conspiracy and murder.
The Delhi police had charge-sheeted a total of 10 accused in the case. But four of them were declared proclaimed offenders by the lower court before beginning of the trial as the police had failed to arrest them.
As per prosecution, Sharma had hatched the conspiracy to kill Kunjum while he was lodged at Tihar Jail in connection with other cases.
At Sharma’s behest, his nephew had taken Kunjum, a fashion designer, to his uncle’s “Jai Mata Di” farmhouse at Mehrauli in South Delhi ostensibly to perform “puja” on the occasion of “Navaratri”.
The hired killers were allegedly present at the farmhouse and stabbed Kunjum to death when she reached there.
According to the prosecution, Sharma had become wary of Kunjum as she had begun usurping his assets and making unreasonable demands.
Sharma, who was jailed in 1998, had come in contact with the hired killers in Tihar Jail itself.