The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Death penalty altered for reform

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence awarded to a man who had killed the families of his two brothers, including four children.

Bachhittar Singh, with help from others, had murdered his elder brothers, Sukhwant Singh, Bhupinder Singh, and their family members to grab their land.

A trial court had awarded him a death sentence, which was upheld by the high court. The Supreme Court, however, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment, saying the convict should be given a chance to repent for his act.

“No doubt the crime was committed in a heinous and brutal manner but viewed from the facts and circumstances, it would be difficult to hold that the case falls within the category of rarest of rare,” a bench of Justices Y.K. Sabharwal and H.K. Sema said on Friday.

he bench considered the question of sentence and said: “On a perusal of evidence and material on record, we find that apart from the solitary incident in question, there is no evidence on record either oral or documentary, which would suggest about the misconduct of the appellants in the past.”

riting for the bench, Justice Sema said: “There is also no evidence on record to suggest that the appellants would be a menace and a threat to the harmonious and peaceful co-existence of society. At the same time, there is no reason to believe that they cannot be reformed or rehabilitated.”

he bench added: “We are of the opinion that the appellants must be given a chance to repent, for what they have done is neither approved by the law nor by society and be reformed or rehabilitated to become good law abiding citizens.

“In the facts and circumstances of the case, we would think that sentencing them to rigorous imprisonment for life would meet the ends of justice.”

Woman stripped after petty duel

Amritsar (PTI): A middle-aged Dalit woman was allegedly stripped and paraded naked on Saturday evening in the Sultanwind area over a petty dispute.

Police said on Sunday that after a heated verbal duel with the victim, the accused, Nandu, and his henchmen tore off her clothes and thrashed her. The victim was then dragged naked in public.

After giving vent to his anger, Nandu left the scene while none of the onlookers dared to stop him and his goons.

Immediately after the incident, women encircled the victim and covered her with their shawls.

The police arrested Nandu late on Saturday night only after a gherao at the police station by Dalit women, who raised anti-police slogans.

Isro poised for moon mission

Bangalore (PTI): Indian Space Research Organisation is better poised to undertake its lunar mission after placing a geostationary satellite on board a modified polar synchronous satellite launch vehicle. Sources said scientists planning for the mission by 2007 were in “a positive frame of mind”, as the mission would be launched with a modified PSLV rocket.

The launching of Metsat is seen as a trial run to test the rocket for the mission, which involves sending a lunar orbiter with an operational life of two years.

Red Cross visit

Jodhpur (PTI): A three-member Red Cross team visited the central jail in the city to look into the living conditions of militants from Jammu and Kashmir lodged here. They enquired about the facilities provided to the militants and visited the ward where the extremists were kept to look into the food provided.

Estate agent killed

Mumbai (PTI): An estate agent was killed when two gunmen fired at his car outside Nanavati hospital. The assailants fired several rounds at Dinesh Shetty, 35, when he had gone to meet a relative. He died before he could be admitted to the hospital.

3 held for fraud

Ajmer (PTI): Three persons were arrested for duping nearly 2,500 youths by floating bogus companies. They were arrested after one of the victims filed a complaint. The three had issued advertisements offering jobs, and asked candidates to send Rs 2,000 with their applications. They fled after collecting Rs 3 lakh from 1,500 youths.

Gang busted

Kapurthala (PTI): Punjab police have arrested three members of an inter-state gang. They also recovered 11 photostat machines and a computer stolen from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh from them.

Armyman caught

Jodhpur (PTI): An armyman was held for absconding with a gun after hoodwinking his colleagues on a train. The Northern Railway SP said the hawaldar left the train with the gun at Phulera station.

The Indian Museum Ship, Vikrant, will be reopened to public from October 2, according to the defence ministry. The museum ship anchored off the Gateway of India will remain open throughout the week except Mondays.

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