Bharatraj Mulai, convict in sensational ‘92 Mahaica murder, dies

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Bharatraj Mulai, who was sentenced to death with his brother Lallman, for the murder of their neighbour in the Mahaica Creek in August 1992, has died.

Director of Prisons, Gladwyn Samuels confirmed that Bharatraj died on Saturday evening (October 14, 2017) while receiving medical attention. Mulai’s brother, Lallman, remains behind bars on a life sentence.

In the sensational case, the Mulai brothers were sentenced to death on July 6, 1994, for the murder of Doodnauth Seeram, which occurred between August 29 and 31, 1992.

However, in January 2013, the two brothers had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. Their lawyer, Nigel Hughes, had argued before then Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang, that the death penalty was inhumane.

Lallman Mulai remains behind bars, serving a life sentence for murder

The Mulai brothers, the prosecution argued, was involved in a dispute with Seeram, who claimed that the brothers were grazing cows on his land. During a heated exchange, the prosecution alleged that the brothers chopped Seeram to death.

Seeram’s body was discovered on September 1, 1992, in a nearby canal with a rope tied to his neck in what was believed to be an effort to keep the body under water. The Mulai brothers were arrested and charged with the crime of murder and were sentenced to death on July 6, 1994.

However, the Court of Appeal set aside the death sentence and ordered a new trial. But the new trial resulted in the same decision; the brothers were found guilty and sentenced to death on March 1, 1996.

The brothers had appealed, but the Court of Appeal confirmed their sentence to death on December 29, 1997. The Mulai brothers had claimed that they were innocent and were not on the scene on the day the murder occurred.

Rookmin Mulai, the sister of the Mulais, had complained to the Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that the trial was unfair, arguing that the stories of the witnesses in the case was inconsistent.

Further, the Human Rights Committee in its report noted that foreman of the jury at the re-trial informed the Police and the Chief Justice on February 26, 1996, that someone sought to influence (bribe) him but the trial was not aborted, as would have happened in other cases.

While the Committee noted that it could not establish whether there was bias against the Mulai brothers in the eventual decision, (and other issues) related to a fair trial, the facts revealed violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The family of Bharatraj Mulai have requested his remains so they can carry out funeral arrangements and Prison authorities have granted their request.

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