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Life term for murder of Stephen's girl

Staff Reporter

Court also slaps 5-lakh fine on tutor for his "diabolic and revolting" act

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Thursday sentenced Uttam Kumar, convicted of killing one of his students at her residence in Adarsh Nagar here eight years ago, to rigorous imprisonment for the rest of his life.

Awarding the sentence, Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar said while Uttam Kumar's act was diabolic and revolting and a result of his lust for the victim, it did not fall under the category of "rarest of the rare" cases.

The prosecution had sought death penalty for the convict while arguing on the quantum of sentence.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 5 lakh on the convict. Failure to pay the fine would entail five more years of simple imprisonment. The court directed the convict to deposit Rs. 2 lakh of the amount with the State and the remainder with the victim's parents.

While announcing the sentence, the court took into account the unremorseful behaviour of the convict during the trial as he had written threatening letters to the murder victim's family from jail. It also took exception to his attempt to prolong the trial by submitting various applications from time to time.

The Judge also observed that the court would have chosen to debar Uttam Kumar from any commutation or remission, but since this was not within its purview he directed the jail authorities to place a copy of the order before the authorities concerned whenever the question of commutation or remission of the period of sentence is considered.

The court had convicted Uttam Kumar last week for killing his 20-year-old student Priyanka Garg at her residence on April 19, 1999. Priyanka's marriage was due to take place 10 days later.

Relying on "cogent and reliable" testimonies by 19 witnesses, including the girl's family, the court had concluded that the prosecution claims were completely substantiated by the evidence before the court.

The Judge said the motive behind the crime was Uttam Kumar's lust for Priyanka, a student of St. Stephen's College, who had been his student for about 10 years.

He observed that the young girl might have developed some kind of infatuation for her teacher but that could not be construed as love on her part. He said Uttam Kumar could not digest the fact that Priyanka would never be his and when he saw her returning home after some shopping on April 19 evening, he got enraged and killed her.

The court also rejected the convict's plea that Priyanka's family had killed her and implicated him by first calling him to the house and then locking him inside the bathroom where Priyanka's body was already lying.