New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued
notices to eight persons, serving 25 years jail term each for
killing a Dalit woman and her three children at Khairlanji in
Maharashtra, asking for their response to a CBI appeal seeking
death penalty for them.
A bench of Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice T S
Thakur issued notices to the convicts on the CBI plea which
also sought restoration of the trial court ruling awarding
death penalty to six out of eight of them.
Appearing for CBI, Additional Solicitor General Haren
Rawal told the court that all the eight persons also needed to
be convicted under various stringent provisions of Scheduled
Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
CBI has moved the apex court challenging the July 14
ruling of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court which
commuted the death sentence of six convicts to 25 years
imprisonment and fixed a similar sentence for two others
serving life term.
The case pertained to the brutal murder of four
members of a Dalit family -- Surekha Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, her
daughter Priyanka, sons Sudhir and Roshan -- by a mob at
Khairlanji village on September 29, 2006.
A trial court had on September 24, 2008, awarded
capital punishment to six persons involved in the killings and
life imprisonment to two others.
The six convicts whose death sentence had been commuted
to life are Sakru Binjewar, Ramu Dhande, Shatrughan Dhande,
Vishwanath Dhande, Jagdish Mandlekar and Prabhakar Mandlekar.
Gopal Binjewar and Shishupal Dhande were awarded life