25 years on, SC sets death row convict free as he was minor at time of crime | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

25 years on, SC sets death row convict free as he was minor at time of crime

ByAbraham Thomas
Mar 28, 2023 12:53 AM IST

A bench of justices KM Joseph, Aniruddha Bose and Hrishikesh Roy relied on the birth certificate issued by a government school in Rajasthan, where the convict studied till Class 3, to conclude that he was 12 years of age at the time of the crime.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that a man on death row for 25 years be released after an inquiry found that he was a minor in 1994, when he and two others killed seven of a family.

A view of the Supreme Court building, the apex judicial body of India, in New Delhi on Tuesday.(ANI)
A view of the Supreme Court building, the apex judicial body of India, in New Delhi on Tuesday.(ANI)

The convicts broke into a house in Pune 29 years ago to carry out a robbery and murdered five women and two children, according to the FIR in the case. In September 2000, the top court upheld the capital punishment granted to convict Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary by a district court and the Bombay high court. One of the convicts , Raju, turned approver and was pardoned. The death sentence of the third man, Jeetendra Nainsingh, was commuted in 2016. Chaudhary is currently lodged in the Nagpur central jail.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

A bench of justices KM Joseph, Aniruddha Bose and Hrishikesh Roy relied on the birth certificate issued by a government school in Rajasthan, where the convict studied till Class 3, to conclude that he was 12 years of age at the time of the crime.

“Going by the certificate (of birth), his age at the time of the commission of offence was 12 years and 6 months. Thus, he was a child/juvenile on the date of commission of offence (August 26, 1994) for which he has been convicted in terms of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, ” the bench said.

Also Read: Life imprisonment for seven for ‘sacrificing’ 2 young siblings

The court added that since the maximum punishment for a delinquent juvenile under the 2015 act is three years, the convict should be released.

“He shall be set free forthwith from the correctional home in which he remains imprisoned as he has suffered imprisonment for more than 28 years,” said justice Bose, authoring the 68-page judgment for the bench.

Chaudhary moved an application in the Supreme Court in 2018 seeking the reopening of his review petition on the ground that he was a juvenile at the time of crime. In January 2019, the top court referred the matter to the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Pune to hold an inquiry.

The Maharashtra government led by advocate Sachin Patil argued that the convict had different ages as reflected by the charge sheet (showing his age to be 20-22 years) and the electoral roll which showed his age as 19 years at the time of the crime. The court, however, held that the birth certificate provide conclusive proof that he was a minor at the time of the crime.

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on India News, Budget 2024, Arunachal CM Oath Ceremony Live, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, June 16, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On