Supreme Court upholds death sentence to a man for killing 6 people

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed the death sentence awarded to a man for killing six members of a family, including two minors, in 2012 saying that he had committed the crime with “extremist brutality” which would shock the “collective conscious” of the society.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice A K Sikri dismissed the appeal filed by Khushwinder Singh who had challenged the 2013 verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court upholding the capital punishment awarded to him by a trial court.

The apex court noted in its verdict that Singh had killed six persons in a “pre-planned manner” in two instalments by first drugging them with sleeping pills and then pushing them in a canal.

“In the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the opinion that there is no alternative punishment suitable, except the death sentence. The crime is committed with extremist brutality and the collective conscious of the society would be shocked,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S A Nazeer and M R Shah.

Upholding the capital punishment, the court said that a death sentence awarded to Singh by the trial court and confirmed by the high court does not warrant any interference.

The top court upheld his conviction for offences under various provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) including that of murder, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, theft and distruction of evidence.

“The conviction of the appellant-accused (Singh) for the offences punishable under section 302 (murder) IPC and other offences is hereby confirmed and the capital imprisonment/ death sentence imposed by the sessions court and confirmed by the high court for the offence punishable under section 302 IPC for having killed six persons is hereby confirmed,” the bench said.

According to the prosecution, Singh had committed the crime for theft of Rs 37 lakh and ornaments which were kept at the house of the victims.

He had tried to kill all the seven members of the family but one of them survived and lodged a complaint, the police said.

During the trial before the lower court, Singh had denied the allegations levelled against him.

In March 2013, the trial court had convicted Singh in the case and had awarded him capital punishment.

During the hearing of the case before the apex court, the prosecution had said that cash of Rs 36.70 lakh was recovered from Singh’s house.

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