Bombay High Court

16 April 2024 :

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on March 27, 2024 confirmed the death penalty given to a 46-year-old labourer from Nagpur for murdering five members of his family in June 2018 over a land dispute.
Justices Vinay Joshi and MW Chandwani, in their ruling, described the crime as “cold-blooded” and “pre-planned,” stating, “The act was extremely barbaric, cruel, and brutal. The accused has killed his own sister, her family, and his own child. The act was heartless, in total disregard for human relationships.”
The bench further emphasised the severity of the crime, noting, “The atrocity of the crime resulted in five deaths, including that of children, squarely makes out a case of exceptional category.”
“Considering the manner of the crime, past and post conduct, the accused is beyond reformation and rehabilitation. The accused would be a menace or threat to society. In our considered view, the case undoubtedly falls in the ‘Rarest of Rare’ category warranting capital punishment”, the bench added.
Prosecutors revealed that Vivek Gulabrao Palatkar, the accused, had previously been convicted of murdering his wife, Savita, in 2014.
Although initially sentenced to life imprisonment, the high court overturned his conviction, setting him free.
Upon his release, Palatkar moved into a rented room in Nagpur and maintained contact with his sister, Archana, who was caring for his two children, following their mother’s death.
However, Palatkar harboured resentment towards Archana’s husband, Kamlakar, who had requested that Palatkar transfer his agricultural land to Archana as compensation for the expenses incurred in raising Palatkar’s children and funding his legal fees.
Driven by this grudge, Palatkar meticulously planned Kamlakar’s murder.
Days before the incident, he purchased a heavy crowbar, which he took to Archana’s residence on 10 June 2018 and concealed outside. Once everyone was asleep, Palatkar retrieved the crowbar and killed Kamlakar, his mother, Archana, her minor daughter, and his own son.
According to police, Palatkar’s motive for killing Kamlakar stemmed out of the land dispute and the humiliation he faced.
The other victims were likely killed as they woke up during Kamlakar’s murder.
The also court noted that while incarcerated, Palatkar assaulted and attempted to kill a fellow inmate, leading the bench to conclude that he was “beyond improvement and there were no chances of reformation”.


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