New Delhi: Congress on Friday described as
"lenient" the Supreme Court`s decision rejecting CBI`s plea
for death penalty to Dara Singh, convicted for burning alive
Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons.
The apex court, while upholding the life term awarded to
Dara Singh by the Orissa High Court for the January 1999
killings, ruled that the crime was not "rarest of rare" to
warrant capital punishment.
"The apex court has really relatively been very lenient
in giving the minimum punishment...it was a serious and
barbaric event. It was not merely a case of coercion and
pressure. This barbaric event led to the destruction of child
lives in a brutal and unspeakable manner," party spokesperson
Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here.
While announcing the decision on Wednesday, a bench
comprising justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, while
dismissing the agency`s plea for death penalty, had said the
punishment can be imposed only in the "rarest of rare" cases
depending upon the facts and situation of each case.
Dara Singh and Mahendra Hembrom were found guilty of
burning to death Staines and his sons while they were sleeping
inside a van in front of a church at Manoharpur village in
Koenjhar district of Orissa on January 22, 1999.