Allahabad: Due to lack of evidence, the Allahabad High Court has let off seven persons, who were awarded death sentence by a lower court in connection with an alleged honour killing case of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh.
A Division Bench comprising Justices Amar Saran and Pankaj Naqvi yesterday ordered "the release of Natthu, Rakesh, Mahavir, Viresh, Jai Prakash, Pappu and Gulab Singh" holding that they "stand acquitted of charges they had been found guilty of".
The appellants had challenged July 30, 2012 order of Additional Sessions Judge, Badaun.
They were awarded death sentence for allegedly burning alive Deen Dayal and Anita in a village under Gunnaur police station of the district on the intervening night of May 22-23, 2006.
Anita was the daughter of one of the appellants, Natthu.
The girl`s affair with Deen Dayal was said to have been bitterly opposed by her family.
However, during the trial, Natthu denied his involvement in the incident and claimed that the remaining six accused had "resorted to this abhorrent crime to grab his property".
The High Court struck down the conviction of all the seven accused observing that the trial court had convicted them "on the strength of the statement" given by Natthu, which was "not a substantive piece of evidence which could have nailed the other set of accused persons".
"The trial court was swayed by the fact Natthu in his statement....Had admitted his presence at the scene of occurrence," the court noted, adding "this approach was absolutely de hors the law.
The prosecution had failed to prove the case, in the mode and manner as alleged by them beyond a reasonable doubt.