Dehradun : A Dehradun court sentenced a software engineer to life imprisonment yesterday after holding him guilty of murdering his wife in cold blood seven years ago and keeping her body in a deep freezer for months after chopping it into pieces.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar, who had convicted Rajesh Gulati yesterday for murder and concealing evidence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for murdering his wife Anupama, pronounced the quantum of punishment in a packed courtroom, sentencing him to life in prison.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 15 lakh on Gulati, district prosecution counsel D P Raturi said.
Out of a total fine of Rs. 15 lakh, Rs. 14.30 lakh will be invested in a fixed deposit to meet the educational expenses of his minor children from his murdered spouse and the remaining Rs. 70,000 will be deposited in the state exchequer, Mr Raturi said.
Before the sentence was pronounced, the prosecution contended that the case be treated as a rarest of rare and Gulati be given the harshest punishment which could give a positive message to the society.
However, Gulati’s lawyers pleaded that he should not be given death sentence, a provision which had been done away with by as many as 139 countries across the world.
Moreover, the convict’s conduct during the last seven years in prison during the trial period was also good, they said while closing the defence arguments.
The murder was committed seven years ago with gory details of the case capturing media attention.
Joint Director (law) J S Bisht said the arguments in the case were concluded on August 18 and the verdict was based on the examination of around 40 witnesses during the prolonged trial.
The sensational murder had come to light on December 11, 2010 about two months after it was committed, when Anupama’s brother went to inquire about her at the couple’s residence in the Prakash Nagar colony in the cantonment area after failing to talk to her for many days.
When Gulati resisted his entry into the house and refused to tell him anything about Anupama’s whereabouts, he reported the matter to the police.
Gulati had even tried to mislead the police by feigning ignorance about his wife’s whereabouts, but when they found a deep freezer kept under locks in the house their suspicion deepened.
When it was unlocked, some pieces of Anupama’s body were recovered, according to the prosecution.
It also came to light that Gulati had thrown some pieces of the corpse into a drain on Mussoorie road after packing them into polythene bags.
According to the prosecution, the couple often had altercations over an alleged relationship Gulati was having outside his marriage with Anupama.
During one such fight on October 17, 2010 Anupama fell unconscious after hitting her head against the bed. He then strangulated her with the help of a pillow.
The next day he bought a deep freezer and hid her body in it. Later, he chopped the body into pieces and kept throwing them into a drain on Mussoorie road in instalments.
However, the matter was reported to the police before he could dispose of all the parts of the chopped body.
When the twin children inquired about their mother, he told them that she had gone to their grandmother’s place in Delhi.
Originally from Delhi, Gulati had shifted to Dehradun in 2008.