Verdict too lenient, say some lawyers

Supreme court’s decision rejecting CBI’s plea for death penalty to Dara Singh drew mixed reactions from the legal fraternity on Friday.

While some believed that the verdict was “too lenient” considering the gravity of offence, others hailed SC’s decision. The apex court, while upholding the life term awarded to Dara Singh by the Orissa High Court for the January 1999 killings, ruled that the crime was not “rarest of rare” to warrant capital punishment.

Noted advocate Ashok Aggarwal said that decision of the apex court was too lenient as it ignored the fact of the “collective conscience” that led to the burning of the victims. “Even if the victims were trying to convert the tribals, nothing gives the right to the accused to burn them in such ghastly manner. I feel pity for those who are not able to provide for their people but when it comes to the religion, then they become rigid,” Aggarwal said. He added that the circumstances called for the death penalty.

Lawyer Minakshi Lekhi, however, hailed the SC’s judgment saying that after keeping all the aspects in mind, the apex court delivered the appropriate verdict. “While burning someone to death is abhorable, at the same time converting an innocent tribal is also an abhorable act. I appreciate all the findings of the supreme court,” she said.

While announcing the decision on Wednesday, a bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, had said the punishment can be imposed only in the “rarest of rare” cases depending upon the facts and situation of each case.

Read more: Verdict too lenient, say some lawyers – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Verdict-too-lenient-say-some-lawyers/articleshow/7338563.cms#ixzz1Bix6XAx4

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