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HC admits Raja appeal, calls for lower court records

Correspondent

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Monday admitted a criminal appeal petition of gangster Sandeep Acharya alias Raja who had challenged a lower court conviction verdict sentencing him life and imposition of a fine for killing judo coach Biranchi Das.

Calling for lower court records (LCR), a Division Bench consisting of Justices Pradeep Mohanty and B.K. Naik disposed off the appellant's miscellaneous petition seeking a stay on realisation of fine. The HC granted a stay on the realisation of fine but ordered that the other miscellaneous petition of the appellant seeking bail would be taken up after the submission of LCR, informed Raja's Counsel Debasnan Das on Monday.

Stating that the lower court's conviction as well as sentence orders were “erroneous both in fact and in law”, the Counsel for the gangster had maintained that no real motive was proved against his client and he was mechanically convicted solely on the basis of suspicion.

A Bhubaneswar-based fast track court had last month convicted Raja and his associate Akhaya Behera alias Chagala under section 302 and 34 (murder and common intention) of IPC in the much-hyped judo coach murder case.

The lower court had sentenced both to undergo life imprisonment and had imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 on each.

Although, the prosecution (Commissionerate police), as announced earlier have not yet approached the High Court for enhancement of the sentences, the gangster in his appeal petition in HC has stated that the trial court had convicted him solely on the basis of emotions and sentiments without appreciating the evidence on legal perspective.

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