The Supreme Court today quashed an Allahabad High Court order setting free a double murder accused, who was awarded death penalty by a trial court. Mahipal, an Uttar Pradesh resident, was earlier sentenced to death by the trial court for kidnapping and murdering two boys of six and seven years of age in January 2013 following an alleged family feud with the parents of the minor victims. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi accepted the contention of lawyers Ankur Prakash and Ashutosh Kumar Sharma, counsel for Uttar Pradesh, that the High Court had gravely erred in setting free the convict against whom there were credible circumstantial evidence. The apex court set aside the findings of the High Court and modified the trial court order awarding the capital punishment to Mahipal and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The decision of the trial court was based on the recovery of the dead bodies of the boys and the ropes used to murder them, along with a SIM card used to issue threat messages to one of the parents. However, the High Court had said the sequence of events from the stage of motive to the commission of the crime were not connected. The High Court had also said that the prosecution had utterly failed to prove all the links leading to conviction and the trial court had committed a serious error in recording the conviction. The state had approached the apex court against the high court's decision to let go the accused.
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