New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of two persons for setting ablaze seven people, including five kids of a family, after locking them in a house in a Bihar village nearly seven years ago.
A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu termed the incident as "extremely revolting" that shocked the collective conscience of the community and refused to shoe leniency towards the two convicts.
It however, commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment of third convict who was also awarded capital punishment by the lower court and confirmed by the Patna High Court.
"We are of the considered view that the instant case falls in such category of rarest of the rare cases where culpability has assumed the proportion of extreme depravity and the appellant-accused are perfect example of a blood-thirsty, scheming and hardened criminals who slayed seven innocent lives to quench their thirst for revenge and such revenge evolving out of a fellow citizen`s refusal to abstain from resorting to machinery of law to protect his rights.
"The entire incident is extremely revolting and shocks the collective conscience of the community. The acts of murder committed by the appellants are so gruesome, merciless and brutal that the aggravating circumstances far outweigh the mitigating circumstances," the bench said.
The incident had taken place on January 1, 2006 in a village at Vaishali district of Bihar when convicts Jagat Rai and Deepak Rai had locked the victims inside their house and set them ablaze at around 1 AM. Five kids aged 12, 10, 8, 6 and 3 years, were among the victims along with their parents, a police informer.