SC converts death penalty to life term

The Bench holds that the crime by prime accused Aloke did not fall under the 'rarest of rare crime', reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 00:32 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday converted to life imprisonment the capital punishment awarded to Aloke Nath of Kolkata convicted of killing his younger brother about 13 years ago in the eastern metropolis.

A Bench headed by Justice SB Sinha acquitted three other accused, including Aloke's wife, Mamata who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the alleged conspiracy.

The Bench held that the crime by prime accused Aloke did not fall under the "rarest of rare crime," as the prosecution failed to prove the conspiracy theory against the three accused persons.

The prosecution had alleged that Aloke Nath, Mamata, her brother-in-law Babu Roy and their friend Mrinal Dutt conspired and killed Biswanath, younger brother of Aloke, in January 1994 to grab his property.

After killing Biswanath, his body was concealed in a concrete structure that was specially raised within the room of Aloke Nath with the aim of concealing the crime, the police alleged.

The trial court had awarded death to Nath, Dutt and Roy sentenced Mamata to life imprisonments, which were upheld by the Kolkota High Court.

However, the apex court observed that the prosecution failed to adduce any independent evidence to prove the conspiracy theory against Mamata, Dutta and Roy.

It held that conviction of the accused for conspiracy on the retracted confessions of Dutt by itself was not an admissible piece of evidence unless it was corroborated by independent evidence.

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First Published: Dec 14, 2006 00:32 IST