Law finally caught up with realtor-turned-film producer BM Govardhan Murthy, who was acquitted seven years ago in connection with the murder of actor Vinod Kumar. Murthy will now have to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Observing that the accused had used a licensed gun to commit the crime, the high court directed him to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh, of which Rs 4.5 lakh is payable to the mother of the deceased. Murthy was also found guilty under section 30 of the Arms Act, for which the court imposed a six-month imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000.
Reversing the December 26, 2012 verdict of a principal sessions court, Bengaluru Rural district, a high court division bench of Justices SN Satyanarayana and HP Sandesh held that the acquittal of the accused by the trial court was miscarriage of justice. The bench has directed the trial court to secure Murthy.
On October 7, 2008, Murthy, who shot to fame by producing Shivarajkumar-starrer Maadesha, called his friend Shankar Reddy and a few others to a party at his LG Rose Heritage farmhouse in Bagalur, north Bengaluru, to celebrate a successful land deal in Devanahalli.
Reddy went to the party with his friend Vinod, a budding film star as well as a real estate dealer. At 12.30am, Murthy, who was in an inebriated condition, pulled out his licensed pistol and shot Vinod in the abdomen. Vinod succumbed to the injury. Murthy, who went missing, was later apprehended by Amruthahalli police at a farmhouse in Kerala.
Murthy was arrested and tried along with six others. The case of the prosecution was that Murthy killed Vinod because the latter was about to marry the girl he liked. The prosecution also claimed Vinod gave a dying declaration stating Murthy had attacked him. However, the defence disputed the dying declaration. Ultimately, the trial court acquitted all seven accused citing lack of evidence.
However, Kiran Kumar, brother of actor Vinod, and the Karnataka government challenged the acquittal order stating many key evidences weren’t considered by the trial court.