Gujarat High Court has commuted the death sentence of a murder convict, who killed five members of a family in Dubai and fled to India, observing that he has already spent 22 years behind the bars.
"The convict has been in jail for 22 long years. Considering the situation, the court believes that death penalty is not appropriate for him.
The death penalty has been commuted to life long imprisonment," a Division Bench of High Court said while changing the sentence.
"As per the rulings of Supreme Court in recent cases, capital punishment can be commuted to the life term if the convict has been in jail for so many years," the Bench said.
Though the Bench has ruled out any remission in the sentence, it said, "Considering the circumstancial evidence, a case of murder is there and there shall not be a remission from life term."
"Earlier in 2011, special CBI court convicted Raoji Pawar in the murder case and awarded death penalty to him," said prosecution counsel Yogesh Rawani.
"In 1992, Pawar had killed five persons of one Indian family in Dubai while he was working there as a house servant. Once he was caught molesting Ramesh Sagar's daughter Jyoti by the family head himself. He was scolded and beaten up by Sagar," the court order read.
"To take revenge, he killed his master Ramesh Sagar, Sagar's mother, wife, daughter and one relative. He first killed Sagar which was witnessed by his wife. He then killed the wife and then entire family to assure that there was no witness left to name him in the murder and molestation case," the order read while narrating the motive of the killing.
"He, then fled to Chikhali town of Surat. As the murder case was registered in Dubai, Interpol sent an alert to Gujarat Police which trapped him from his home at Chikhali n and charged him for murder," it said.
"Under Section 188(2) of CrPc (if an Indian citizen is involved in murder overseas, it deems to be done in India) he was indicted and case was transfered to CBI for trial," the order read further.
"After 17 years, the CBI court while convicting him for murder awarded death penalty and sent the case for confirmation to the High Court where on Thursday, the High Court commuted the death penalty," said CBI counsel.