The two-judge bench consisting Justice K K Mishra and Justice D V Sharma quashed the death sentence given to Pawan by the Lakhimpur Kheri District Magistrate in 2007.
A management graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L), Manjunath was working as a sales officer with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
He had exposed an adulteration racket at an IOC petrol pump in Lakhimpur Kheri owned by Pawan.
On November 19, 2005, Manjunath was shot dead when he reached the gas station of the accused to collect samples of adulterated petrol that was being allegedly sold from the gas station.
The court observed that the murder of Manjunath ( 27) was a pre-planned one because the weapons used in the crime and recovered from the possession of the accused, belonged to persons residing in different localities, who had gathered at the site to murder Manjunath. (ANI)