Monday, 30th October 2017

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Murder at 16, bail at 33

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By OUR LEGAL REPORTER
  • Published 30.06.10
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Sajal Barui, who had killed his father, stepmother and stepbrother when he was 16 and was sentenced to life imprisonment, has been given a chance to mend his ways and start life afresh.

The high court on Tuesday granted bail to Sajal, now 33, following a plea by him under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006. The act has a provision to grant bail to juvenile convicts awarded life imprisonment.

Sajal’s plea for permanent release from jail will be heard later, a court official said.

“The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act is aimed at giving juvenile convicts an opportunity to rectify themselves. Sajal is 33 and has a long life ahead. The court has given him an opportunity to live like a law-abiding citizen,” a high court judge told Metro.

Lawyer Sudipta Moitra, who moved Sajal’s plea, said: “Sajal was a minor when he was arrested. He has served 16 years in jail and should get a chance to start life anew.”

The state lawyer did not oppose the submission, prompting the bench of Justice S.P. Talukdar and Justice M.K. Sinha to grant bail to the youth.

Sajal and four of his friends had murdered his father, stepmother and stepbrother in their Dum Dum apartment on November 22, 1993. The stepmother was strangled while the father and stepbrother were hacked to death.

A probe revealed that his stepmother’s ill-treatment and the exhortations by his friends, who would repeatedly tell him he could inherit the property if he hit back and wiped out his family, prompted Sajal to hatch the murder plan.

The case was heard in Barasat court, which in a ruling in 1995 said the crime was “rarest of rare” and sentenced Sajal to death. His friends were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The five challenged the verdict in the high court, which commuted Sajal’s capital punishment to life imprisonment and ordered jail terms for seven to 10 years for his friends.

Sajal fled from custody by fooling jail guards at National Medical College and Hospital on September 15, 2001. The police finally caught him in February 2003, when a youth arrested in Midnapore on a theft charge turned out to be Sajal.

In Alipore jail, Sajal once tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a bedsheet. Timely intervention by a warder saved his life.