All the eight accused in the murder of Indian Oil sales manager S Manjunath were, on Friday, held guilty by an Uttar Pradesh district court, which said it will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Monday after hearing prosecution and defence arguments.
The verdict on the November 19, 2005 murder of the IIM-Lucknow graduate was delivered by District Judge S M Abidi.
He told a packed court that the sentence to the accused will be given on March 26 after hearing the pleas of the defence and the prosecution. All the eight accused were present in the court.
In his 58-page order, Abidi held the accused guilty under various sections of IPC and some of them under the Arms Act.
After delivering the verdict, Abidi said that arguments on the quantum of punishment could be forwarded in the court either on Friday or on any other date.
Following this, the defence counsel pleaded time till Monday, which was allowed by the court.
The Judge had, on March 9, reserved his verdict after both sides had submitted rulings of the High Courts and the Supreme Court to buttress their contention.
Manjunath's body was recovered a few days after his murder in neighbouring Sitapur district.
The young officer was killed after he had threatened to revoke the licence of a petrol pump owner for selling adulterated fuel.
The killing had evoked sharp reaction from the industry, IIM students across the country and social groups who had demanded stern punishment to the guilty.
As many as three witnesses had turned hostile after recording their statements in the case.