Cuttack, Dec 22 :
In a major intervention, the Orissa high court has set aside the death penalty given to a person accused of multiple murders by a Nabrangpur court and ordered a re-trial.
Sources said, one Sukru Majhi who had killed four of his relatives in July 2011 in Bhakatguda near Papadahandi in Nabrangpur district was convicted and awarded death penalty by the Nabrangpur district and sessions court in May this year.
Majhi, who was mentally unstable, had surrendered to the police after committing the crime and had made confessions.
However, the High Court noted that the fact that Majhi was suffering from mental illness had been overlooked by the lower court during the trial.
Sources said although Majhi’s wife and the mother had clearly stated that he was suffering from mental illness, this factor was not taken into consideration by the lower court while awarding the death penalty, a lapse that the High Court did not approve of.
The Nabrangpur district court has been directed to conduct and complete a re-trial of the case within a period of three months, sources added.
Recently, a bench of the High Court had quashed an order of a Jharsuguda court which had convicted a person of rape and murder and awarded him death penalty and ordered his immediate release.