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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 17:32 GMT
India minister's killer gets life
Praveen Mahajan leaves a courtroom in Mumbai
Praveen Mahajan had denied killing his brother
The brother of a senior leader of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing him last year.

A court in the western city of Mumbai (Bombay) found Praveen Mahajan guilty on Monday of shooting and killing his brother Pramod Mahajan.

Praveen Mahajan was also ordered to pay a fine of 20,000 rupees ($505).

Pramod Mahajan - a former central minister - died after being shot at his home in Mumbai in April 2006.

Reports say his brother fired three shots at him from a licensed revolver from close range because of a family dispute.

Technocrat

After initially confessing to murdering his brother, Mr Mahajan later denied it in the courts.

Pramod Mahajan
Pramod Mahajan was one of the BJP's Generation Next

During the case, the prosecution argued that Praveen Mahajan derived "perverse and sadistic" pleasure out of killing his brother.

When Judge SP Davre asked him if he wanted to say anything about the sentence, Praveen Mahajan said that he only wanted to do so through his lawyer.

The judge then said he was sentencing him to life imprisonment for committing murder, and five years rigorous imprisonment for the offence of "house trespassing".

The judge ruled that the Praveen Mahajan's crimes did not merit death sentence.

Pramod Mahajan, 56, was one of the most recognised political figures in India. He died 12 days after he was shot.

Although he lacked a political base, he was an influential figure in the BJP where he was part of the party's Generation Next - a group of savvy and relatively younger "technocrat" leaders.

A former telecommunications minister, he is credited with bringing about a revolution in the industry.

The prosecution said that after murdering Pramod, Praveen then went to the nearest police station and allegedly confessed to his crime. He has been in custody since then.



SEE ALSO
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03 May 06 |  South Asia
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22 Apr 06 |  South Asia
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02 Jan 06 |  South Asia
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30 Dec 05 |  South Asia
Country profile: India
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