Chidambaram’s justification for commuting death penalty :
None of the other co accused got the death penalty.
UPDATE: I had this one mixed up with another case where a boy was thrown into the fire.
…. police station Durgawati, district Rohtas. He owned a house and an agricultural land having a bore well and a chamber room. The occurrence in the present case took place in his residential house during the night intervening between January 1 and 2, 1989 at about 1.00 a.m. Haridwar Pandey is the son of Jagarnath Pandey. On the date of incident, Jagarnath Pandey and his son Ram Iqbal Pandey (both deceased) went to the chamber (room) for sleeping during that night. Besides Haridwar Pandey and Ram Iqbal Pandey, the family of Jagarnath Pandey was consisted of Taranath Pandey, a cousin (since deceased), Mahendra Pandey, nephew (since deceased), Anil Pandey 10 years old and Sunil Pandey, 8 years old, grand sons (since deceased) and other female members. They were in the house. After evening meals, all these persons went to sleep in their respective rooms. At about mid night, Bhajurama Devi (PW 2) who was sleeping in her room heard the knock on the door and a call from Ram Iqbal Pandey requesting her to open the door as he the door in good faith but to her surprise, she saw 15 to 20 miscreants who forcibly entered into the house. All these miscreants then started knock in the door of a room where Lalmuni Devi (PW 6), informant, was sleeping. By then she realised that some dacoits had entered into the house. They continued to knock the door and also started abusing the intimated. When she opened the door, 4 to 5 dacoits entered into her room. Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) apprehending danger came out of the room and saw 15 to 20 dacoits armed with rifles had entered into her house and thereafter started collecting the valuables from rooms and putting them into bundles. She then spotted her father-in-law Jagarnath Pandey and Ram Iqbal Pandey in the courtyard with their hands tied from behind. Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) immediately took her children and other family members inside another room called Dumuha. Some of the dacoits then started asking the inmates of the house of disclose where the gun and the ornaments were kept otherwise their children would be killed. Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) told theat she did not know about the gun and she requested the dacoits not to cause harm to any of the family members. She identified Shiv Prakash Pandey (A-1), Shobhit Chamar (A-2) and Ram Dular who was said to have been killed in encounter during the pendency of trial.
3. It is alleged by the prosecution that A-2 then started snatching the two children, namely, Anil Pandey and Sunil Pandey from Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) and when she resisted, A-2 assaulted her with baton of the rifle and snatched the children forcibly from her and brought them into the courtyard. Shiv Prakash Pandey (A-1) and Shobhit Chamar (A- 2) then fired from their guns killing Jagarnath Pandey and Ram Iqbal Pandey who collapsed due to fire arm injuries on the ground and died on the spot. A-2 along with two or three dacoits then went outside the house and after some time, came back along with Taranath Pandey and Mahendra Pandey who were also gun down in the courtyard. The two minor children were terribly scared and when they started weeping, some of the dacoits sad that they be spared. When they were let off, they went to Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) and sat on her lap. One of the dacoits then said that these children should to be spared because when they would grow, they might take the revenge and, therefore, they should also be finished. A-2 then forcibly brought the children from Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) in the courtyard and thereafter miscreants fired at them. Both the children succumbed to the fire arm injuries and died on the spot. A-2 was than enquiring about Haridwar husband of Lalmuni Devi (PW 6) and asked her to call him so that he would also be killed. A-2 then stated that all male members of the family of Haridwar should be finished so that he would be satisfied of taking revenge of murders of his brother and a nephew. During this occurrence, according to the prosecution, the dacoits also assaulted Bindu Devi (PW 4) wife of Ram Iqbal Pandey. After committing the six murders and assaulting the Family members of Jagarnath Pandey, the dacoits left the house with valuables worth Rs. 12.000/- raising slogans `Jai Durga Maa’
Full text http://indiankanoon.org/doc/982025/