1999 Graham Staines murder case: Convict Dara Singh moves SC seeking remission

Vishnu Jain, the lawyer for Singh, in the plea, cited the judgement that granted mercy to the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
 Supreme Court of India.
Supreme Court of India.(Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Convict Dara Singh, who served 24 years in jail in the murder of Australian Christian missionary Graham Stuart Staines, moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking remission on the ground that if Rajiv Gandhi assassins are granted mercy, then he should also be released prematurely.

A two-judge bench of the apex court, led by Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice S V N Bhatti, issued notice to the Odisha government and asked it to file a detailed reply on Singh's prayers. The matter was fixed for further hearing after six weeks.

Vishnu Jain, the lawyer for Singh, in the plea, cited the judgement that granted mercy to the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. "I am seeking a direction to be released from jail on this ground," Jain said.

The prosecution said Singh, a Bajrang Dal activist in Odisha, had burned alive 58-year-old Staines, an Australian Christian missionary working with victims of leprosy, and his two sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6, as they slept in their jeep in a forest clearing in Manouharpur-Baripada on the night between January 21 and 22, 1999.

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