J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday restored the life sentence given to the main accused in the 1985 Karamchedu clashes between upper castes and SCs which resulted in the death of six persons and injury to 20 others. The sentence of 30 others accused in the case, who were given three years in jail, was also restored.

A Bench of Justices B. N. Agrawal and G. S. Singhvi allowing an appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh government against a judgment of the High Court acquitting all the 60 accused, imposed life imprisonment on the main accused R. Anjaiah for murder and convicted 30 others to undergo three years imprisonment under Section 148 IPC (rioting). The Bench thereby restored the punishment awarded to the accused by the sessions court in Prakasam district.

On October 31, 1994 the Sessions Court convicted and sentenced five accused to life imprisonment. However, the High Court acquitted all the accused.

Guilt proven

The apex court Bench held that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the guilt of the 31 accused and the High Court was not justified in acquitting them. In respect of others, the prosecution had not proved the guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the Bench said and confirmed their acquittal.