Supreme Court modifies words in Graham Staines murder verdict

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified a portion of its judgment in the Graham Staines murder case.

The apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan, in a suo motu order modifying the judgment, said it was deleting the portion, which read that the guilty, Dara Singh, and his accomplice wanted to teach Staines a lesson for his conversion activities.

The bench said the use of words "by use of force" is replaced with "by any means".

In its judgement on last Friday, the apex court had upheld the life sentence for Dara Singh, convicted for killing Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in Orissa"s Koenjhar district in 1999.

Dara had filed an appeal challenging his conviction and the life sentence awarded to him.

The appeals were admitted by the apex court in October 2005.

On May 19, 2005, the Orissa High Court had commuted to life imprisonment the death penalty imposed by the sessions court on Dara Singh.

However, the High Court had acquitted eleven others who were awarded life terms by the trial court in the case.

Dara Singh and Mahendra Hembrom were found guilty of burning to death Staines and his sons, who were sleeping inside a van outside a church, at Manoharpur village in Koenjhar district of Orissa on January 22, 1999. (ANI)

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