Ponty Chadha killing: Court drops murder charge against accused

New Delhi, Jan 28: A Delhi court has dropped murder charges against Uttarakhand minorities panel’s sacked chairman S.S. Namdhari and other accused involved in the killing of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep.

The court will frame various charges dealing with conspiracy, trespassing, destruction of evidence and other various charges against all accused Jan 29.

Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav, while giving nod to frame charges against all accused Jan 13, has dropped murder charges against them, saying that the Nov 17, 2012, shootout that resulted in the killing of Ponty and Hardeep “seems to be an event which happened suddenly and unexpectedly”.

However, it added charges related to culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Namdhari and his Personal Security Officer Sachin Tyagi.

The court said: “Appearance of Hardeep Singh at the scene was sudden and unexpected, it was he who had fired at the injured Narender Ahlawat (Ponty’s manager, who is also an accused in the case) and also pumped in several bullets into elder brother Gurdeep Singh Chadha (Ponty).”

“Thereafter Namdhari and Sachin used their fire arms and shot Hardeep which resulted in his death… Thus, these acts bring in the culpable homicide by Namdhari and Sachin, within domain of exception 4 of section 300 of the IPC,” the court added.

Ponty Chadha and his brother were killed at a farmhouse in Chhattarpur in south Delhi in a shootout Nov 17, 2012, allegedly over a property dispute.

Delhi Police had filed two charge sheets in the case and levelled murder charges against 21 accused. Ponty and Hardeep were also charge sheeted in the case, but the trial against the brothers has been abated as they both died in the shootout.

The court has given nod to frame various charges against the accused under provisions of the Inedian Penal Code, including dacoity, rioting with deadly weapons, house trespass, illegal confinement, kidnapping, causing grievous harm and destruction of evidence.

IANS