Mumbai, Feb 24 (UNI) A local court here today convicted five people and sentenced them to life imprisonment for the murder of a 72-year-old man in Worli here three years ago.
A sixth accused, a doctor who had issued forged death certificates, was sentenced to three years imprisonment while two others were acquitted by sessions judge S B Gaikwad.
In a dramatic turn of events, the prime accused in the case, Geeta Soni (33), who was among the five sentenced a lifer, committed suicide by jumping from the third floor of the sessions court after the judgement was pronounced.
According to the prosecution, the conspiracy to murder Adi Khurshidji, a millionaire, was hatched by his foster daughter, Geeta Soni, on May 20, 2003.
The childless Khurshidji couple had adopted Geeta Soni who had been acquainted with them for few years. Later, Khushidji had made a will bestowing his property on Geeta Soni after his death.
Geeta married Khurshidji's chauffeur against his wishes and the relationship between them soured. The elderly couple held discussions with their lawyer to change the earlier will in view of the changed circumstances.
Following this, Geeta and others entered into a conspiracy to murder the old man and he was strangulated to death. A doctor had issued a certificate saying he died a natural death.
A complaint was lodged with the police by one of Khurshidji's friend. Police investigated the matter and, subsequently, eight people were arrested, including Geeta.
The court today awarded the life sentence on Geeta Soni, her husband Irshad Mullah, her mother Sharda Soni, and two of their servants Rakesh Valmiki and Ajay Valmiki.
Dr Hegde, who gave the forged death certificate, was awarded three years rigorous imprisonment and the two others were acquitted.
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