Death penalty of man convicted for killing wife, daughters reduced

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Friday reduced the death penalty of a businessman to life imprisonment as the court felt this case where the man had poisoned his wife and three minor daughters because he saw no way out of his financial crisis was not ‘rarest of the rare’.

A division bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said that this case does not fall under the category of ‘rarest of the rare’ cases and declined to confirm the death penalty awarded by the trial court against Raj Kumar Khandelwal for the murder of four people.

‘The accused did not murder his wife and daughters for any personal gain. He killed them as he thought that by doing so he was giving them deliverance from misery,’ observed the bench in a verdict on his appeal.

According to the prosecution, Khandelwal, proprietor of Jyoti Industries in Gaya, Bihar, had taken a loan of about Rs.12 lakh from Canara Bank in 2004 and ran into losses due to financial mismanagement of his firm.

Faced with financial crisis, Khandelwal was under mental and emotional tension. He made up his mind to get rid of his wife and three minor daughters, the prosecution said.


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