After a trial which went on for as many as 29 years, a court in Bareilly sentenced two men to five years in prison for stealing Rs 370 from a man they had drugged in a train in 1988, says a Times of India report.
The court of the additional district and sessions judge in Bareilly, in its order on Tuesday, also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of the two accused. The third accused died in 2004.
The case dates back to October 21, 1988, Chandra Pal, Kanhaiya Lal and Sarvesh had offered Wajid Hussain tea laced with drugs as he was travelling on a train from Shahjahanpur to Punjab for a job. The three had taken away the Rs 370 that Hussain had in his pocket.
“An FIR was lodged against three people under IPC Sections 379 (theft), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) . In 2004, it came to light that Pal had died. Then the case was transferred to the court of the additional district and sessions judge against Kanhaiya Lal and Sarvesh,” Additional district governor counsel Suresh Babu Sahu was quoted by Times of India as saying.
While Chandra Pal remained absconding for 16 years, Lal and Sarvesh, who are now in their sixties and have grown-up sons and daughters in their native village in Hardoi, UP.
They regret the “gross mistake” they committed back then and now say that the real punishment for them was the trial and not the jail term they have been given now.