The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the death penalty of a convict involved in the cold-blooded murder of three Dalit men, over an inter-caste love affair, in Sonai village of Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district in 2013.
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, and B.V. Nagarathna agreed to examine the appeal filed by convict Sandip Madhav Kurhe, and after brief submissions by his lawyer, stayed execution of death penalty. The bench also tagged the appeal with other pending appeals of other convicts.
The Bombay High Court, on December 2, 2019, had upheld the death penalty to four people in the murder of three Dalit men in Sonai village on January 1, 2013.
The police said the inter-caste love affair between Sachin Gharu and a girl from the Maratha community, to which the convicts belong, was reason for the killing. The victims' mutilated body parts were found in a septic tank and a nearby well after Gharu and his colleagues were called by the girl's family to their home on the pretext of cleaning the septic tank.
A sessions court in Nashik, in 2018, had sentenced to death six people -- Raghunath Darandale, Ramesh Darandale, Prakash Darandale, Ganesh alias Pravin Darandale, Ashok Navgire, and Kurhe -- for kiling Gharu (24), Sandeep Thanvar (25) and Rahul Kandare (20), all working as sweepers. However, Raghunath Darandale, died during the pendency of the case.
The high court upheld the death penalty for four convicts -- Ramesh Darandale, Prakash Darandale, Ganesh alias Pravin Darandale, and Kurhe. However, it acquitted Navgire (32) for lack of evidence.
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