31 Oct 2017 9:55 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has commuted the death sentence awarded to three members of the notorious Dandupalya gang and has acquitted another member.The three who have been convicted are Venkatesh alias Chandra, Munikrishna alias Krishna and Nallathimma alias Thimma. The fourth accused, Lakshmamma, has been acquitted.The Bench comprising Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice John Michael...
The Karnataka High Court has commuted the death sentence awarded to three members of the notorious Dandupalya gang and has acquitted another member.
The three who have been convicted are Venkatesh alias Chandra, Munikrishna alias Krishna and Nallathimma alias Thimma. The fourth accused, Lakshmamma, has been acquitted.
The Bench comprising Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice John Michael Cunha directed the three to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years and fined them with Rs. 10,000 each.
The Court was hearing appeals challenging a judgment passed in 2010 by the Special Court, which had convicted the Appellants for dacoity and murder and had awarded them with capital punishment.
It noted that the Trial Court had convicted the Appellants for offences under Section 396 (dacoity with murder) of the Indian Penal Code solely on the basis of voluntary statements of the accused and recovery of gold ornaments from them.
Noting that the evidence on records was not only insufficient but also inadmissible, the Court then observed, "It is trite law that no conviction would lie on the basis of the voluntary statements recorded by the police officers while the accused were in their custody. Section 25 of the Evidence Act in unmistakable terms provides that no confession made to a police officer is relevant or shall be proved against a person accused of any offence. Section 26 mandates that no confession by any person while he is in custody of a police officer shall be relevant or proved against him. It is unfortunate that the learned Sessions Judge has placed reliance on Exhibits P15, P16 and P17 namely the voluntary statements of the accused to base the conviction. Therefore, on overall consideration of the above facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the conviction recorded against the accused under section 396 of Indian Penal Code cannot be sustained."
It, however, opined that the recovery of gold ornaments from the accused warranted their conviction under Section 392 (robbery) of the IPC.