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CBI mulls moving apex court against HC verdict

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
May 19, 2005 13:06 IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to move the Supreme Court against the Orissa high court order commuting the death sentence on Dara Singh to life imprisonment in the Graham Staines murder case.

The agency is now awaiting the certified copy of the order.

HC commutes Dara Singh's death sentence

The order was issued by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sujit Barman Roy and Justice Laxmikant Mohapatra on Thursday.

"It is customary for us to appeal against the order of the high court in the Supreme Court in important cases if the order goes against us," said a former CBI officer in New Delhi.

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When contacted CBI spokesman G Mohanty was more circumspect in his response. He told that the final decision on moving the apex court would be taken after going through the judgement.

"Yes, we are aware of the fact that the Orissa high court has commuted the death sentence of Dara Singh, a Bajrang Dal activist, and the main conspirator in the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines in 1999. We are now waiting for the certified copy of the judgement and will decide our next move after getting it," he said.

The murder of Staines and his two sons had raised hackles across the country and in Parliament.

The Left parties and the Congress had raised the issue in both houses of Parliament. The case was handed over to CBI for impartial investigation by the government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee under pressure from the Left and the Congress.


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Onkar Singh in New Delhi