16 October 2019 :
More than eight years after awarding death penalty to a man for killing his wife and four kids including 10-month-old baby in Nanded district in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court has now found fault in its verdict for coming to the conclusion about the severity of the offence to justify the extreme punishment and commuted his sentence to imprisonment for the entire life, The Times of India reported on 2 October 2019.
After re-examining all the evidences minutely, a bench of Justices N V Ramana, M M Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee held that the apex court, while delivering its verdict in 2011, had committed two errors — firstly by wrongly relying upon extra-judicial confession made by the convict to his former wife which was unverified and secondly by observing that he had crushed the face of his wife which was not substantiated by medical evidence.
Though the court held that the circumstantial evidence is strong enough to convict the accused but the extreme punishment of death sentence is not justified.
According to the police, the convict was having a extra marital relationship which led to frequent fight between them. As there was no eye-witness to the crime, the trial court and HC relied upon the circumstantial evidences— like he remained absconded for a month after committing the offence and the deceased were last seen with him— to convict him.
The convict eight year long battle for life ended with the apex court commuting his sentence. But taking into account of his conduct in jail for indulging in illegal activities in prison and intentionally abusing prisoners and jail staff, the court directed that he be remained in jail for rest of life.