Step father awarded capital punishment for killing actor Laila Khan, five family members

Mumbai: Nearly 13 years after actress Laila Khan and five of her family members were killed and buried in a pit at their Igatpuri farmhouse, a Mumbai court on Friday awarded death sentence to her step father Parvez Tak. While awarding the death penalty, the judge held that the case fell under the rarest of rare category. Tak was also sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for destruction of evidence.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who is contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha election as a BJP candidate from the Mumbai North Central constituency, represented the state during the trial. After the court reserved the case for judgment, Nikam withdrew from all cases he was representing as he had decided to join electoral politics.

According to the prosecution case, Tak, the third husband of Laila Khan’s mother Shelina, first killed Shelina after an argument over a bungalow in Igatpuri, and then killed Liala, her siblings Amina, Zara, and Imran, and cousin Reshma as they had witnessed the crime in February 2011. They also said it was Tak who led the police to the remains of the deceased, which he had buried in a pit at the farmhouse.

Judge S.B. Pawar had held Tak guilty of the crime three days ago and pronounced the order on the quantum of punishment on Friday. Public prosecutor Pankaj Chavan, who argued on the quantum of sentence, had sought the death penalty. He contended that it was a planned murder where six people in a family were killed in a brutal violent act and their bodies were disposed off in order to cover up the crime.

The judge said that the case did fall under the category of rarest of rare and on the charge of murder, Tak was given the death penalty. The proceedings of the case will now be submitted to the high court for the confirmation of the death penalty. As per the law, the death sentence cannot be executed without the confirmation from HC.

In 2011, Laila’s father Nadir Patel had filed a police complaint stating that his entire family had gone missing. The police cracked the case almost a year later and arrested Tak and recovered bodies from the Igatpuri farmhouse.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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