SC orders release of six death row convicts

The six accused had spent over 16 years in jail.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday found six nomadic tribes as innocent in a case of multiple rape and murder of five persons, overturning its own judgement of 2009 that sentenced them to the death penalty.

The top court ordered the Maharashtra Police to trace the actual culprits in the case and pay them compensation.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice A K Sikri directed for immediate release of Ankush Maruti Shinde, Rajya Appa Shinde, Ambadas Laxman Shinde, Raju Mhasu Shinde, Bapu Appa Sinde and Surya alias Suresh in the case related to murder of five members of a family, rape of a woman and her 15-year-old daughter and dacoity in Nashik.

The six accused had spent over 16 years in jail. 

In a turn of fate, the court found the six men were falsely implicated by the police. 

One of the six was a juvenile at the time of his arrest. Some of them have developed psychiatric symptoms due to the long years in solitary confinement. 

Now, the bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah, ordered the Maharashtra government to pay each of the six men a compensation of Rs five lakh.

The court noted police did not bother to even investigate the fact that eye-witnesses had, immediately after the crime was committed, identified four other men from the rogues’ gallery as the perpetrators of the crime. 

"There has been no effort from the side of the police made to find these four men," the court noted and ordered the Maharashtra Chief Secretary to take disciplinary action against the probe officers within three months.

On hearing the review petitions, the court had in October 2018 decided to recall its 2009 verdict and hear their appeals afresh.

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SC orders release of six death row convicts

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