Dishonour killing: SC’s lifer to 3, says deserved death

The Supreme Court has awarded life sentence to three persons in an honour killing case, in which six members of a family were gunned down, but said the accused deserved capital punishment.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has awarded life sentence to three persons in an honour killing case, in which six members of a family were gunned down, but said the accused deserved capital punishment.

The apex court however, refrained from awarding death penalty to Master Krishna, Ram Sewak and Kishori as the incident was two decades old and slammed the High Court for acquitting them by rejecting the testimonies of a child and another witness.

"There is no manner of doubt that killing six persons and wiping out almost the whole family on the flimsy ground of saving the honour of the family would fall within the rarest of rare case evolved by this court and, therefore, the trial court was perfectly justified in imposing capital punishment on the respondents.

"However, this court also notices that the incident had roughly taken place before 20 years,i.e.,on August 10/11, 1991. Further,the High Court had acquitted the respondents by a judgment dated April 12, 2002. After April 12, 2002 till this date, nothing adverse against any of the respondents is reported to this Court," a Bench of Justices H S Bedi and J M Panchal said in a judgement.

The apex court said that to sentence the trio "to death after their acquittal in the year 2002 would not be justified on the facts and in the circumstances of the case," and hence it imposed life sentence on them.

Six members of Gulzari`s family--his wife Ramwati, brother Baburam and the couple`s three sons Rajesh, Umesh and Dharmendra--were shot dead by Krishna and the other two in Uttar Pradesh`s Farukhabad district. Gulzari`s son Madan, who was six years old at that time, was a witness to the killing along with a neighbour Jhabbulal.

The incident was a sequel to Krishna`s daughter Sontara eloping with Amar Singh, son of Jhabulal. The trio committed the murder of Gulzari`s family as they suspected that Ramwati helped them elope.

Though the sessions court awarded them death sentence, the Allahabad High Court acquitted them after disbelieving the testimonies, after which the UP government appealed in the apex court.

-PTI

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