The Supreme Court has asked the Madhya Pradesh government to consider the case of Gajendra Singh Chauhan, a murder convict who has served 18 years in jail, for his release under the remission rules if he satisfies all the necessary requirements.
The order was passed by a bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari last week.
A Madhya Pradesh sessions court had on September 19, 2001 convicted and sentenced Gajendra Singh Chauhan to life imprisonment for murder.
Chauhan, along with his accomplices, had poured kerosene on two persons and set them on fire following which they succumbed to their injuries in the year 2000.
The sessions court order was upheld by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur on March 25, 2013.
It was subsequently challenged before the top court.
In the appeal against the high court order in the top court, senior lawyer Pandit Parmanand Katara, appearing for the convict, had pleaded for his release under the remission rules.
"The petitioner has so far undergone about eighteen years of jail sentence. We request the court to release him under the remission rules," Mr Katara had said.
He had submitted that the high court wrongly upheld his conviction solely on the basis of of the dying declaration of the deceased who had narrated different versions of the incident and their statements were inconsistent.
Mr Katara had also stated that the convict was only a 33-year-old at the time of the commission of the offence and he had no criminal record before that.
The counsel had argued that the high court ignored the material fact as both the deceased - Guddu and Basant Rai - who had suffered 90 and 100 per cent burn injuries, were unfit to talk to the doctors for recording their statement.
As per the prosecution, on November 20, 2000, Gajendra, along with his associates, had allegedly demanded money from the victims, and on refusal, they poured kerosene and set them on fire.
They were immediately rushed to a hospital. During the treatment, they recorded their dying declaration. They succumbed to their injuries two days later.
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