SC rejects appeal against life term for three accusedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/sc-rejects-appeal-against-life-term-for-three-accused/

SC rejects appeal against life term for three accused

Bench rejects appeal against contradictions in witnesses’ statements,non-recovery of bodies.

Bench rejects appeal against contradictions in witnesses’ statements,non-recovery of bodies.

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal against the life term awarded to three men for setting ablaze two persons during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in a West Delhi locality.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and M Y Iqbal rejected the arguments on alleged contradiction in witnesses’ statements,saying they were not so material that they would affect the prosecution’s case. It also turned down a contention for acquittal since the victims’ bodies were never recovered.

“It is well settled that discovery of dead body of the victim has never been considered as the only mode of proving the corpus delicti (body of crime) in murder. In fact,there are very many cases of such nature,like the present one where the discovery of the dead body is impossible,specially when members of a particular community were murdered in such a violent mob attack on Sikh community in different places and the offenders tried to remove the dead bodies and also looted articles,” the bench said.

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The court upheld the conviction of Lal Bahadur alias Lal Babu,Surender P Singh and Charan,by the Delhi High Court in August 2008.

The HC had convicted them after setting aside the acquittal order in the case related to killing of Rajinder Singh and his aged father Sardool Singh during the riots that broke out following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Harjit Kaur,then residing in West Sagarpur,had lodged an FIR on November 9,1984,alleging her house was looted and her husband and father-in-law were burnt alive and their half burnt bodies were put in gunny bags,by a rampaging mob involving the accused-petitioners.