Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday
commuted the death penalty awarded by a trial court to a man
for killing his two daughters and sentenced him to life
imprisonment saying he had tried to take his own life later
which suggested that he was in a state of depression while
committing the offence.
The order was passed by a division Bench comprising
Justice Yatindra Singh Justice B N Shukla on an appeal filed
by Santosh Kumar Barnwal challenging the order of the
Additional Sessions Judge of Gorakhpur on October 31 last
As per the prosecution`s case, Barnwal had come to his
home in an inebriated state on June 29, 2008, and stabbed to
death his two daughters aged three and five years.
Barnwal had also injured himself seriously by the knife
which he had used to kill the two girls.
Commuting the death sentence awarded to Barnwal, the
division Bench said the incident had taken place at around 3
o`clock in the afternoon and that the accused was drunk at
that time though "it is not an ahour to consume alcohol".
"Many people consume alcohol in the day time to drown
their depression and frustration. It is just possible that
this was the period of depression and frustration for the
appellant", the court noted.
The court said though there was "no direct evidence of
depression or frustration, considering the circumstances, it
is not a case for capital punishment".