Staines Murder Case: A Chronology

Staines Murder Case: A Chronology
With the Supreme Court today upholding the life term awarded by Orissa High Court to Dara Singh, convicted for murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons, one of the most sensitive cases of the previous century came to an end after 12 years.

Following is the chronology of events.

January 22, 1999: Staines and his two minor sons Philip and Timothy burnt to death by a crowd while asleep in their station wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district of Orissa.

January 29, 1999: Government of India issues notification under Section 3 of Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 setting up a Judicial Commission of inquiry to be headed by Justice D P Wadhwa, Judge of the Supreme Court.

March 25, 1999: Notification of January 29, 1999 was amended by another notification and the time for submission of report by the Commission was extended to five months from two months.

March 26, 1999: Proceedings of the Commission begins.

March 1999: Case handed over to the CBI from the state Crime Branch of Police.

June 21, 1999: Wadhwa Commission of inquiry submits its report holding Dara Singh guilty of the crime.

June 22, 1999: CBI submits chargesheet against 18 persons in the case.

January, 31, 2000: Dara Singh arrested in a forest in Mayurbhanj district.

September 4, 2000: Charges framed against the accused persons.

March 1, 2001: Trial in the case begins in the district and sessions court, Khurda designated CBI court.

Feb 1, 2002: Mahendra Hembram, an accused says in the court that he is the culprit and others are innocent.

April 5, 2003: Accused Dayanidhi Patra says in court that he was present when Dara set fire to the vehicle.

August 18, 2003: Trial ends.

September 15, 2003: Court convicts Dara Singh and 12 others. Acquits Aniruddha Dandapat alias Andha Nayak for insufficient evidence.

September 22, 2003: Court awards death sentence to Dara Singh and life imprisonment to 12 others.

May 19, 2005: Orissa High Court sets aside death sentence to Dara Singh and commutes it to life imprisonment. HC, however, retains life imprisonment awarded to Mahendra Hembram, another accused, while acquitting 11 others.

Jan 21, 2011: The Supreme Court upholds life imprisonment for Dara Singh by the Orissa High Court and his accomplice Mahender Hembram.
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