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SIT seeks ‘exemplary punishment’ for convicts

Relatives of the convicts in the Gulbarg Society massacre case react after a special SIT court adjourned the hearing on the quantum of sentence till June 9. Photo : Vijay Soneji  

Calling the Gulbarg society massacre as “barbaric and inhuman” the prosecution on Monday sought capital punishment for 24 convicts who have been found guilty by the trial court.

The prosecution pleaded that the convicts be “awarded exemplary punishment like death sentence or life imprisonment till death” for the case, which the public prosecutor described as “mass murder as victims were roasted alive.”

The court on Monday adjourned the hearing till June 9 as two and half hour arguments on quantum of sentence remained inconclusive.

“If capital punishment is not considered, they (convicts) should remain in jail till they live,” submitted RC Kodekar, special public prosecutor appearing for the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which had reinvestigated the case at the Apex Court's instance.

“The manner of crime was cruel, barbaric and inhuman as victims' bodies were roasted alive without any provocation and much less in case of women and children who were defenceless,” Mr. Kodekar submitted before the court presided over by judge PB Desai, a fourth judge who involved in the protracted trial that had begun in 2009.

According to him, out of those 39 bodies recovered after crime, 20 were women and six children. Most families of Gulbarg Society lost their kith and kin while three families got completely wiped out losing all members.

It may be noted that after the bloodbath that lasted more than seven hours, only 39 bodies were recovered while 31 were declared missing of which one boy was found alive while remaining 30 were declared presumed to be dead after seven years. Among those 30, 14 were women and eight were children.

Besides the public prosecutor, another lawyer SM Vora appearing for the victims also demanded maximum punishment for the convicts and submitted that the sentencing of each offence should not run concurrently so that the convicts languish in jail for their entire life.

As the arguments between lawyers appearing for the victims and convicts continue, the court adjourned it till Thursday when the matter will be taken up for further hearing and then the court's likely verdict.

It may be noted that while convicting 24 of the 66 accused on June 2nd, the court has dropped the charges of criminal conspiracy and rapes against the accused and acquitted 36 accused for lack of evidence against them.


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 12:58:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SIT-seeks-%E2%80%98exemplary-punishment%E2%80%99-for-convicts/article14388260.ece

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