A Gurgaon court on Saturday awarded life sentence to 13 former employees of Maruti-Suzuki India Limited, after it found them guilty of murdering a senior company official during violence at the automobile giant’s Manesar plant in 2012. 

Additional district and session judge RP Goyal sentenced to life the 13 men, who had been convicted for murder earlier. 

Of the 18 other ex-workers, who had been convicted of various other offences like violence, rioting and attempt to murder, four have been given a sentence of 5 years.

b’Some of the accused being produced in the court | Source: PTI’

Fourteen other convicts will be released after paying a fixed amount of Rs 2,500 as fine. 

The court termed these 14 as “undergone accused” as they had already served a jail term of four and half years, which it felt was enough punishment. 

The 13 persons who have been sentenced to life term are identified as Ram Mehar, who was the union president, Sandeep Dhillon, Ram Bilas, Sarabjeet Singh, Pawan Kumar, Sohan Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Ajmer Singh, Jiya Lal, Amarjeet, Dhanraj Bhambi, Yogesh Kumar and Pradeep Gujjar. 

b’Some of the accused being produced in court | Source: PTI’

During the proceedings on Saturday, prosecutor Anurag Hooda sought the death penalty for all the 13 murder convicted employees. 

Sessions judge R P Goyal, after taking into consideration all aspects, awarded life sentence to each of them. 

Defense counsel Rebbecca John has said she will approach the High Court against the decision. 

Earlier, 31 workers had been convicted and 117 were acquitted by the court on March 10. 

Thirteen of the accused were held guilty of murder while the remaining 18 were convicted of violence, rioting and other offences. 

b’Suzuki had alleged the violence at the plant was unprovoked | Source: Reuters’

Violence had erupted at the facility in August 2012 over disciplinary action against an employee during which agitated workers went on rampage, torching a part of the factory. 

They were also accused of setting senior human resource manager Awanish Kumar Dev on fire, and beating up and bludgeoning 100 others with rods. Those wounded included some foreign employees and policemen. 

The police had arrested 148 workers in connection with the murder.