GAYA: All eight accused of the infamous kidnapping case, in which a Gaya-based doctor Pankaj Gupta and his wife Shobhra were kidnapped from Gaya- Dobhi intersection of GT Road in April 2015, were awarded life imprisonment by the additional district and sessions judge Sachhidnand Singh on Tuesday.
Earlier, on February 20, the accused were held guilty under sections 364A, 395 and 412 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Additional public prosecutor (APP) Yoganand Ambastha, who piloted the prosecution case and produced 22 witnesses in the trial, which went on for more than two years, said the judge had also imposed a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh on the kingpin, Ajay Singh. The other seven accused were imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 each.
Those awarded life imprisonment are Ajay Singh alias Niraj P Singh, Mritunjay Singh alias Bablu Singh, Sunil Singh, Rahul Kumar Soni alias Bittu, Amit Singh, Amit Kumar Singh, Anil Singh and Vijay Singh.
Though operating at the inter-state level, all gang members are from Aurangabad and Rohtas districts. Kidnapping kingpin Ajay Singh is a resident of Rafiganj, Aurangabad.
Dr Pankaj Gupta and his wife Shobhra were on their way back from Giridih (Jharkhand) in their new Audi car, when they were kidnapped by heavily armed criminals from GT Road in broad daylight. They had gone to Giridih to attend a family function.
The kidnappers drove the captive couple in their own car. The couple had reached home five days later after their kidnapping. They were held captive in an apartment at Gomti Nagar area of Lucknow. Gang leader Ajay Singh and his associates were arrested in Lucknow and the Audi car was recovered from their possession.
Reacting to the judgment, defence lawyer Satya Narain Singh said his clients would file an appeal against their conviction in the Patna high court.