New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a
person committing a heinous crime like murder cannot be let
off merely because he or she has been pardoned by the family
members of the deceased and the village panchayat.
"The crime had been committed against the society/State
and not only against the family and, therefore, the pardon
accorded by the family and Panchayat has no significance in
such a heinous crime," a Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B
S Chauhan in a judgement said.
The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing the
appeal filed by Paramjee Singh, alias Pamma, who shot dead his
own brothers and two nephews over a property dispute in
Uttarakhand`s Rudrapur district on April 27, 2000.
The sessions court awarded him life imprisonment and the
Uttarkhand High Court confirmed the sentence even though the
witnesses in the case turned hostile. Pamma also took the
plea that he was entitled to a lenient view as the family and
the village Panchayat had pardoned him.
"It is evident that the view taken by the courts below
that the eye-witnesses turned hostile because of the
decision taken in the Panchayat, pardoning the appellant, does
not require any interference.
"It is also evident from the above that the said
eye-witnesses have no regard for the truth and concealed the
material facts from the court only in order to protect the
appellant for reasons best known to them. Such an unwarranted
attitude on the part of the witnesses disentitles any benefit
to the appellant who has committed a heinous crime," Justice
Chauhan writing the judgement said.
Pamma shot dead in broad daylight his brother Inderjit
Singh and his nephews Surender Singh and Saranjit Singh and
injured his father Hardayal Singh and two other nephews Ajit
Singh and Baljit Singh over the property dispute.