Supreme Court seeks Odisha’s reply on Dara Singh’s remission plea : The Tribune India

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Graham Staines murder case

Supreme Court seeks Odisha’s reply on Dara Singh’s remission plea

Supreme Court seeks Odisha’s reply on Dara Singh’s remission plea


PTI

New Delhi, July 9

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Odisha Government's response on a plea for premature release of a "repenting" Ravindra Pal, alias Dara Singh, who is serving life sentence for the ghastly killing of Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two minor sons in the state's Keonjhar district in 1999.

Govt norms cited

The petitioner said the authorities were under legal obligation to consider his case for premature release under the “Guideline for Premature Release 2022” passed by the Odisha Govt.

The Bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and SVN Bhatti issued notice to the state and sought its response within six weeks.

In his plea filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, Dara Singh said, "The petitioner, having spent over 24 years in the prison, has well understood and is repenting the consequences of his action taken in the fit of his youthful rage and at present seeks the mercy of this court so that he can give back to the society through his service-oriented actions."

He sought a direction to the state government to consider his case for premature release in accordance with the guidelines for premature release of life convicts issued in 2022 in the three cases in which he was convicted.

"The petitioner herein, who happens to be about 61 years of age, has already undergone more than the qualified period i.e. 14 years of sentence as stipulated in policy dated April 19, 2022, whereas the petitioner has served more than 24 years of actual imprisonment (without remission).

"It is noteworthy that the petitioner has never been released on parole and even when his mother passed away, he could not perform her last rites as he was not allowed to be released on parole," he submitted.

Singh said the appropriate authorities are under legal obligation to consider his case for premature release under the "Guideline for Premature Release 2022" passed by the Odisha Government. He claimed they had failed to act in accordance with the related rules due to which his right to liberty, as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, was jeopardised.

"The petitioner acknowledges and deeply regrets the transgressions perpetrated more than two decades ago. In the fervour of youth, fuelled by impassioned reactions to the brutal history of India, the petitioner's psyche momentarily lost restraint.

"It is imperative for the court to scrutinise not merely the actions, but the underlying intent, noting that there was no personal animosity harboured towards any victim," he said.

#Supreme Court


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