SC to review death penalty awarded to man killing his family

New Delhi [India] Nov 21 (ANI):- In a rare decision, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday decided to review its final decision of awarding a man death penalty for the murder of four children and a woman with whom he was living as husband and wife. A bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph also directed that the order to suspend the death sentence of the convict, Sudam alias Rahul Kaniram Yadhav, will continue to operate till the disposal of the review petition. "Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the review petitions regarding the sentence needs to be considered afresh," the bench, also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, said. The order of the Apex Court added, "Therefore, the order dated July 26, 2012, passed in the review petition, dismissing the review petition is recalled...The order on the suspension of the death sentence will continue to operate till the disposal of these review petitions. Post these review petitions for hearing afresh during the second week of January 2019." The Apex Court also directed the competent authorities to take a decision within four weeks on Sudam's plea to be transferred from Nagpur Central Jail to Aurangabad. The bench noted that his jail transfer request has been forwarded with a positive recommendation by the Senior Jailor, Nagpur. The residents of Rupla Naik Tanda, a remote village in district Nanded in Maharashtra, were horrified when a few of its natives found four bodies floating in the village pond in the morning of August 21, 2007. A six-year-old male child along with two female children of ten years and a male child of two to four years were tied separately. The local police also found the body of an unidentified woman below a boulder. According to the police, the deceased woman who was living with Sudam as his wife had come to know about his illicit relationship with another woman. This led to frequent fights. There is no eye-witness to the occurrence and relying on the circumstantial evidence, the trial court came to the conclusion the man had committed the murder of the four children and the woman and in order to cause disappearance of evidence of murder threw the dead bodies in the pond. The trial court had awarded death sentence to Sudam and the High Court had also confirmed the death penalty. The top court had in its 2011 verdict confirming the death penalty said that he had not only killed the two children of the deceased who were born from the first husband but also killed his own two children. Later in July 2012, the SC dismissed the review petition filed against the death penalty.
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