Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh industries minister Tumke Bagra’s son, Kajum Bagra, has been convicted for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a district court.
On March 26, 2017, around 10.17 pm, the convict had fatally shot the victim, Kenjum Kamsi, outside Hotel West in Aalo, the headquarters of West Siang district, after a brief altercation. The incident was captured on CCTV camera installed outside the hotel.
Court papers revealed that Bagra had confessed to the police that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime and was heading towards Upper Colony in Aalo when he was allegedly confronted by Kamsi where the two got into an argument over the payment of a contract.
The accused was charged under Section 302 of the IPC and Section 27(1) of the Arms Act.
Bagra had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the time of the incident, his father was the deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly and is now the industries minister in his second term as Aalo West MLA.
After more than two years since the incident, the Additional District and Sessions Court in Basar convicted Kajum Bagra and sentenced him to life imprisonment on June 4.
The court also ordered Bagra to pay Rs 5,000 as fine to the wife of the deceased and to undergo two months of ‘rigorous imprisonment’.
In its order, the court sentenced Bagra to life imprisonment under Section 302 of the IPC. The minimum term for life imprisonment under Indian law is 14 years but it can be longer unless the state government reduces the period through an official pardon.
In 2012, the Supreme Court had said that “a convict undergoing life imprisonment is expected to remain in custody till the end of his life, subject to any remission granted by the appropriate government”. The top court had also said that under remission the appropriate government cannot reduce the period of sentence less than 14 years for a life convict as per Section 433-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Bagra’s legal representative said that they will appeal to a higher court against the order, saying that he should have been tried under Section 304-A of the IPC, i.e. causing death by negligence.
Section 304-A states: “Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”