A bench of Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice T S Thakur issued notices to the convicts on the CBI plea, which also sought restoration of the trial court ruling awarding death penalty to six out of eight of them. Appearing for the CBI, additional solicitor general Haren Rawal told the court that all the eight persons also needed to be convicted under various stringent provisions of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The CBI has moved the apex court challenging the July 14 ruling of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, which commuted the death sentence of six convicts to 25 years imprisonment and fixed a similar sentence for two others serving life term.
The case pertained to the brutal murder of four members of a Dalit family -- Surekha Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, her daughter Priyanka, sons Sudhir and Roshan -- by a mob at Khairlanji village on September 29, 2006.
A trial court had on September 24, 2008, awarded capital punishment to six persons involved in the killings and life imprisonment to two others.The six convicts whose death sentence had been commuted to life are Sakru Binjewar, Ramu Dhande, Shatrughan Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Jagdish Mandlekar and Prabhakar Mandlekar. Gopal Binjewar and Shishupal Dhande were awarded life imprisonment.