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CBI to approach SC on `Khairlanji` killings case

CBI will soon approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the Bombay High Court`s recent decision to commute the death sentence of six convicts in the `Khairlanji` killings.



New Delhi: CBI will soon approach the
Supreme Court to appeal against the Bombay High Court`s recent
decision to commute the death sentence of six convicts in the
`Khairlanji` killings.

Official sources said the CBI will file a Special Leave
Petition in the Apex court challenging the order of the Nagpur
bench of the Bombay High Court, which on July 14 had commuted
the death sentence of the six convicts to 25 years
imprisonment.

They said the appeal will be filed after getting an
approval from the central government.

Four members of the Dalit family -- Surekha Bhaiyalal
Bhotmange, her daughter Priyanka, sons Sudhir and Roshan --
were brutally killed by a mob in Khairlanji village on
September 29, 2006, over a land dispute with upper castes,
provoking violent protests across the state.

The court while commuting the death sentence had noted
that there was no caste factor involved in the killings and
that all the accused had no previous criminal record. It said
mitigating and aggravating circumstances were more powerful in
the case.

Justice A P Lavande of the Nagpur bench of the court
declined to accept the plea that it was a case of caste-based
vengeance.

"All the accused are ordinary villagers and the incident
took place since they felt that they were falsely implicated
in the beating of prime witness Siddharth Gajbhiye by
Bhotmanges," Justice Lavande said.

Six of the people accused of killing the children were
given death sentence by a lower court in September, 2008.
Another two were sentenced to life term for murdering
Bhotmange`s wife.

Justice Lavande had pronounced the judgement while
Justice R C Chavan, who is on an assignment at the High Court
in Mumbai, joined him via video conference.

Bhotmange, who lost all his family members, termed the
verdict as unfortunate and demanded that the Maharashtra
government file an appeal to enhance the sentence of all the
six convicts in the case.

PTI

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