Citing lack of evidence, the High Court on Friday set aside a death sentence awarded to four members of the ‘Dandupalya gang’.
The gang had been in the dock for the rape, murder and robbery of a woman in Mysore in 2000. A fortnight ago, they were similarly acquitted of a murder in Hassan.
A division bench comprising Justice K Bhaktavatsala and Justice K N Keshavanarayana passed the order.
In 2010, a special court had convicted Dodda Hanuma, Venkataramu, Munikrishna and Nalla Krishna for trespass, dacoity and murder. The prosecution had failed to prove the charges, the bench observed.
The lower court had awarded death accepting one man’s statement, but death can’t be awarded on the basis of just one person’s testimony, the judges stated.
The gang is convicted in other cases, and can’t walk free till it is acquitted in all cases.
On April 4, 2000, a home-alone woman was brutally raped and murdered in Kuppana Park in Mysore.
The killers looted all the jewellery on her body. The Nazarbad police investigated the case and made their arrests on January 30, 2001. On September 30, 2010, a special court had awarded death to all the four accused.
On March 13, the High Court had ordered the release of six members of the dreaded Dandupalya gang sentenced to death by a lower court.
A division bench comprising Justice K Bhakthavatsala and Justice K N Keshavanarayana allowed an appeal by Dodda Hanuma, Venkatesh, Munikrishna, Nallathimma, Lakshmamma (wife of Dodda Hanuma) and Krishnudu, challenging a special court judgment.
Eleven people, including the six appellants, had been charged with dacoity and murder.