HC spares Dandupalya gang of death row in all 14 cases

HC spares Dandupalya gang of death row in all 14 cases

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday commuted death penalty awarded to three members of the Dandupalya gang, in a case of rape, murder and robbery, to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

The court acquitted one of the accused of all the charges.The special court, which was set up to try the crimes allegedly committed by the Danadupalya gang, had awarded death sentence to the accused in the murder, rape and robbery of Sudhamani in Bengaluru, in the year 2000.

With this, all the 14 cases against the Dandupalya gang members have been disposed off and the death sentence awarded by the special court set aside in all cases by the high court.

The 34th Additional City and Sessions Court (the special court) in September 2010 had sentenced 11 members of the Dandupalya gang to death on finding them guilty in 14 cases of murder and dacoity.

Judge H R Srinivas had passed the order in six cases registered in Bengaluru city, four in Mysuru, two in Hubballi and one each in Hassan and Tumakuru.

The accused were convicted for offences under the Indian Penal Code Sections 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity) and 302 (murder).

On Friday, the division bench of Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice John Michael Cunha acquitted Venkatesha, Munikrishna and Nalla Thimma of rape and muder charges and convicted them for robbery under Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code and fined them Rs 10,000 each. The bench acquitted Lakshmamma of all charges.

Section 392 of the IPC states that: "Whoever commits robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine."

The special court that functioned from the Bengaluru Central Prison premises in Parappana Agrahara had convicted Venkatesh, Munikrishna and Nalla Thimma of murder, rape and robbery and sentenced them to death.

The bench stated that there was no proper evidence for rape and murder by the gang members and hence they cannot be convicted. The prosecution could only provide evidence for robbery.

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