New Delhi, Oct 24: A Sessions Court today awarded life sentence to all the 10 policemen, who were convicted in connection with the 1997 Connaught Place shootout case.
Suspended Assistant Commissioner of Police S S Rathi was among those awarded the life term.
"I sentence them to life imprisonment," Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar said, pronouncing the quantum of punishment to ten policemen.
On March 31, 1997, a Crime Branch team of the Delhi police, led by Rathi pumped bullets into two businessmen -- Pradeep Goyal and Jajgjit Singh--, killing the two at the spot.
Earlier, CBI counsel S K Saxena had sought death penalty Rathi, who led the operation, and head constable Mahaveer Singh and constable Kothari Ram, whose bullets had killed the victims.
Saxena said that their guilt was the rarest of rare case.
The other policemen are Inspector Anil Kumar, Sub Inspector Ashok Rana, Head Constables Shiv Kumar, Tejpal Singh, Constables Sumer Singh, Subhash Chand and Sunil Kumar.
The court on October 16 had held Rathi and nine other Delhi Police personnel guilty under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 193 (giving false evidence) and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court also ordered initiation of criminal proceedings against ballistic expert Roop Singh for giving false investigation report.
According to the prosecution, the team was chasing an alleged gangster. In Connaught Place, the team surrounded a Maruti Esteem car in which the alleged criminal was supposed to be going.
They then resorted to indiscriminate firing, killing the two businessmen in the process.
On September 8, 1998, the 10 accused policemen were charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and false evidence.
All the ten policemen, including Rathi were suspended when it was found that the two killed in the encounter were not the criminals but innocent civilians.
The CBI has claimed in its chargesheet in 1997 that in order to cover up their crime, the cops planted a pistol and a few cartridges inside the car to corroborate its claim that the first fire came from the businessmen.
But the forensic report disproved this theory that any shot was fired from the recovered weapon.
The sensational case had led to the removal of the then Delhi Police chief Nikhil Kumar, now a Congress MP.