Death penalty converted to life imprisonment in Khairlanji murder case

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Mumbai, July 14 (ANI): The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court converted death penalty of the six convicts of the 2006 Dalit family murder case to life imprisonment for 25 years on Wednesday.

Members of the politically dominant Kunbi, a Maratha sub-caste, slaughtered four members of a Dalit family in Khairlanji, a small village in Bhandara district of Maharashtra on September 29, 2006.

The case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the local police.

"The death penalty to all of them has been cancelled. The High Court has sentenced all of them to life imprisonment, and besides that, they have to pay a fine of 5,000 rupees each," said Sudip Jaiswal, defence lawyer.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the CBI said that they would appeal in the Supreme Court.We honour the judgment. After reading the entire script of judgment, we would decide the next course of action," said Ajaj Khan, prosecution lawyer.

The CBI filed a charge sheet against 11 of 46 accused in December 2006, though the family claimed that nearly 50 villagers were involved. The accused were arrested in October.

The trial began in May 2007 and lasted over a year during which 36 witnesses were examined including four eyewitnesses, of whom one turned hostile.

On September 15, 2008, the fast track Sessions' court had convicted eight people of murder and acquitted three out of the 11 accused in the case. (ANI)

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