Supreme Court commutes death in bus burning case

The Supreme Court has commuted the death penalty of three convicts in the Dharmapuri bus burning incident to life imprisonment, saying the “incident happened in a flash during mob frenzy and was not premeditated.”
Supreme Court commutes death in bus burning case

New Delhi

A tri-judge Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi rolled back the death penalty awarded to them on agreeing with the defence’s contention that mobs go berserk and possess a demented sight of what is around them. 
The defence had held that the convicts had not even known their victims and their crime did not deserve the death penalty. Defence counsel L. Nageshwar Rao, had argued that the accused, who were part of a rampaging mob, cannot be held liable for the crime as the mental capacity were impaired at the time. 
He had submitted that death was too harsh a punishment as the convicts had no personal animosity towards their victims and were themselves the victims of mob psychology. The Dharmapuri case relates to the death of three students – Kokilavani, Gayathri and Hemalatha – of TNAU, Coimbatore. 
The bus they were travelling in along with 44 other students and two teachers, were torched by the three convicts on February 2, 2000, after the conviction of  AIADMK supremo J  Jayalalithaa in a criminal case.

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