INDIA: SC BACKS THE DEATH PENALTY
March 1, 2009: in a setback to opponents of capital punishment, the Indian Supreme Court enlarged the scope of the penalty, saying killing of more than one innocent or killing through organised crime could attract the sentence.
"A murder committed due to deep-seated mutual and personal rivalry may not call for death penalty. But an organised crime or mass murder of innocent people would call for imposition of death sentence," a bench of justice Arijit Pasayat and justice Mukundakam Sharma said. The judges scrapped a verdict of the Allahabad High Court reducing to life term the death sentence given by a trial court to two persons for killing six members of a family in 1994.Â
Sattan and Guddu alias UpendraÂ were part of a six-member group that had entered a house and murdered the inmates because of a family feud. (Sources: DNAindia.com, 02/03/2009; Amnesty International)