advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sec. 376, 450 and sec.302 of I.P.C - rape and murder of minor girl - death awarded converted in to life imprisonment - high court confirmed the same - Apex court converted the sentence from death to life imprisonment and held that the appellant must serve a minimum of 35 years in jail without remission, before consideration of his case for pre-mature release. However, it would be subject to clemency power of the Executive.- as it is not a rarest of rare case though heinous crime = Rajkumar …Appellant Versus State of M.P. …Respondent= 2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41252

Sec. 376, 450 and sec.302 of I.P.C - rape and murder of minor girl - death awarded converted in to  life imprisonment - high court confirmed the same - Apex court converted the sentence from death to life imprisonment and held that the appellant must serve a minimum of 35 years  in  jail without remission, before consideration of  his  case  for  pre-mature release. However, it  would  be  subject  to  clemency  power  of  the Executive.- as it is not a rarest of rare case though heinous crime =

These appeals have been preferred against the impugned  judgment
      and order dated 27.6.2013 passed in Criminal Reference No. 01 of  2013
      and Criminal Appeal No. 397 of 2013 passed by the High Court of Madhya
      Pradesh at Jabalpur affirming the conviction of  the  appellant  under
      Sections 376 and 450 of  the  Indian  Penal  Code,  1860  (hereinafter
      referred to as the `IPC’) as well as  confirming  the  death  sentence
      awarded for the offence  under Section 302 IPC by the trial court vide
      judgment and order dated 5.2.2013 passed in Sessions Trial No.  20  of
      2013.=

A three-Judge Bench of  this  Court  in  Swami  Shraddananda   @
      Murali Manohar Mishra v. State of Karnataka, AIR 2008 SC 3040, wherein
      considering the facts of the case, the Court set aside the sentence of
      death penalty and awarded life  imprisonment,  but  further  explained
      that in order to serve the ends  of  justice,  the  appellant  therein
      would not be released from prison till the end of his life.


      21.   Thus, taking into consideration the aforesaid judgments, we  are
      of the view that in spite of the fact that the appellant had committed
      a heinous crime and raped an innocent, helpless and defenceless  minor
      girl who was in his custody, he is liable to be punished severely  but
      it is not a case which falls within  a  category  of  rarest  of  rare
      cases.  Hence,  we  set  aside  the  death  sentence  and  award  life
      imprisonment. The appellant must serve a minimum of 35 years  in  jail
      without remission, before consideration of  his  case  for  pre-mature
      release. However, it  would  be  subject  to  clemency  power  of  the
      Executive.
           The appeals stand disposed of.
           Before we part, we would like to note with appreciation that  in
      the instant case investigation and all judicial proceedings upto  this
      Court stood  concluded  in  less  than  8  months  from  the  date  of
      incidence. Thus, it is an exemplar of expeditious justice  in  country
      of chronic delay by smooth functioning of investigating agency, courts
      and the members of legal fraternity.  We expect such  prompt  disposal
      of cases specifically in cases of such grave nature.
2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41252
B.S. CHAUHAN, M.Y. EQBAL
REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NOs. 1419-1420 of 2013




      Rajkumar                                            …Appellant




                                   Versus




      State of M.P.
      …Respondent






                               J U D G M E N T




      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.


      1.    These appeals have been preferred against the impugned  judgment
      and order dated 27.6.2013 passed in Criminal Reference No. 01 of  2013
      and Criminal Appeal No. 397 of 2013 passed by the High Court of Madhya
      Pradesh at Jabalpur affirming the conviction of  the  appellant  under
      Sections 376 and 450 of  the  Indian  Penal  Code,  1860  (hereinafter
      referred to as the `IPC’) as well as  confirming  the  death  sentence
      awarded for the offence  under Section 302 IPC by the trial court vide
      judgment and order dated 5.2.2013 passed in Sessions Trial No.  20  of
      2013.
      2.    Facts and circumstances giving rise to these appeals as per  the
      prosecution are that:
      A.    On 26.12.2012, the appellant, aged 32 years, came to  the  house
      of his neighbour Iknis Jojo (PW.1) and stayed with his  four  children
      as Iknis Jojo (PW.1) and  his  wife  Albisiya  had  gone  to  irrigate
      agricultural fields in the night.  The appellant was on visiting terms
      with the family and the children used to call him “Mama” i.e. maternal
      uncle.  On the said night, he  had  taken  liquor  and  meals  in  the
      complainant’s house and when retiring for  the  night,  the  appellant
      asked the prosecutrix Gounjhi, aged 14 years not  to  sleep  with  her
      three siblings i.e. Sushma, Sanchit and Aric,  rather to sleep at some
      distance from them.  Around midnight, he  raped  prosecutrix  Gounjhi.
      While  committing  rape,  he  caused  some   grievous   injuries   and
      consequently she died. The incident was witnessed by  Sanchit  (PW.2),
      brother of the prosecutrix, however, out of fear, he could  not  raise
      any hue and cry.  After committing the crime, the appellant  left  the
      place of occurrence.  In the morning, Iknis Jojo (PW.1) alongwith  his
      wife Albisiya came from their fields and found the children  sleeping.
      They woke them up and also tried to wake  the  prosecutrix  when  they
      realised that she was dead. Sanchit (PW.2) narrated the incident  that
      had occurred in the night.
      B.    Iknis Jojo (PW.1) immediately went to  the  police  station  and
      lodged the complaint, on the basis of which Crime No. 294 of 2012  was
      registered for the offence under Sections 302 and 450 IPC.  Shri  K.S.
      Thakur, Inspector of Police, Police Station: Nainpur, District Mandla,
      Madhya Pradesh started  the  investigation.   He  came  to  the  spot,
      recovered the dead body, prepared the Panchnama,  also  recovered  the
      blackish brown colour purse  and  clothes  lying  near  the  place  of
      occurrence.   Some coins and a  small  packet  of  tobacoo  were  also
      recovered. Some hair were found  lying  near  the  dead  body  of  the
      prosecutrix and one sky blue coloured shawl was  also  recovered  from
      the place of occurrence which had blood stains and some other kind  of
      stains at various places.  The earth of that place having  some  fluid
      material  thereon  was  also  recovered.   The  investigating  officer
      prepared the site plan in presence of the witnesses and dead  body  of
      the  prosecutrix  was  sent  for  postmortem  and  the  appellant  was
      arrested.


      C.     Dr. Surendra Barkare (PW.6) alongwith lady  Dr.  (Smt.)  Prahba
      Pipre (PW.7) conducted the postmortem of the prosecutrix and submitted
      the report.  As per the postmortem report,  rape  had  been  committed
      upon the deceased and, thus, Sections 376 and 511 IPC were also  added
      in the case.
      D.    After  taking  permission  from  the  Judicial  Magistrate,  the
      specimen blood of the appellant was obtained to conduct his DNA finger
      printing which  was  sent  for  analysis  to  State  Forensic  Science
      Laboratory, Sagar.  All the materials sent for chemical analysis  were
      analysed and the report was submitted and on the basis  of  which  the
      chargesheet was filed and the appellant was put  to  trial.  Appellant
      denied his involvement in the offence, thus trial commenced.
      E.    Dr. Surendra Barkare (PW.6) deposed and  proved  the  postmortem
      report and deposed that the prosecutrix died of asphyxia as  a  result
      of strangulation and her death was homicidal in nature.
      F.    Iknis Jojo (PW.1), father of the deceased, deposed while  giving
      the version as mentioned in the FIR and admitted  that  the  appellant
      used to come to his house occasionally and he was referred to  by  his
      children as “Mama” and sometimes he used to stay in the  house  though
      his house was only half a kilometer away from his  house  and  he  was
      already married having a child.
      G.    Sanchit (PW.2), a 10 years old boy, supported the  case  of  the
      prosecution and deposed that his “Mama” had come to  their  house.  He
      consumed liquor and  was  served  rice  and  water  by  the  deceased.
      Appellant asked the prosecutrix to sleep at  some  distance  from  her
      siblings.  The appellant slept with other three children  and  it  was
      about 11-12 in the night that he heard the shrieks of his  sister  and
      saw that the appellant had pressed her neck and he got so much  scared
      that he could not even raise the voice.  All  this  was  disclosed  by
      PW.2 to his parents in the morning on their returning from the fields.


      H.    Dr. (Smt.) Prabha Pipre (PW.7) deposed about the conduct of  the
      postmortem of the body of the deceased alongwith Dr. Surendra  Barkare
      (PW.6). They further deposed that hymen of the deceased was  torn  and
      blood was oozing out from her private parts.  Some blood  was  present
      in the cavity of the private part and some blood was also  present  in
      the cavity of her uterus. Her vagina accommodated one  finger  and  it
      accommodated two fingers with difficulty.  On the basis of the  above,
      she had opined that deceased had been subjected to rape before murder.




      I.    The deceased was 14 years of age and a student in sixth standard
      which was proved from the school register and  the  statement  of  her
      father Iknis Jojo (PW.1). Her age has also been mentioned in  the  FIR
      as 14 years.   So  far  as  medical  evidence  is  concerned,  it  was
      mentioned that the deceased prosecutrix was about 16 years of age.
      J.    So far as the analysis report of the material sent and  the  DNA
      report is concerned, it revealed that semen of the appellant was found
      on the vaginal swab of the deceased.  The clothes of the deceased were
      also found having appellant’s semen spots.  The hair which were  found
      near the place of occurrence were found to be that of the appellant.
      K.    The trial court after considering the entire evidence on record,
      recorded the following findings of fact:
              i) The evidence of Sanchit Jojo (PW.2), a  child  witness  was
                 worth placing reliance and it duly supported  the  case  of
                 the prosecution;
             ii) His deposition corroborates medical evidence;
            iii) The hymen of the deceased was found torn;
             iv) Semen of the appellant was found on the slide prepared from
                 the vaginal swab of the prosecutrix as proved  by  the  DNA
                 report;
              v) The shawl of the  deceased  was  also  found  having  semen
                 stains which were of the appellant;
             vi) The hair found near the body of the prosecutrix were  found
                 to be of the appellant as per the DNA report;
            vii) The appellant did not take any  defence  in  his  statement
                 under Section 313 Cr.P.C. except that he had  been  falsely
                 implicated by the family of the deceased at the instance of
                 the police and that the appellant did not lead any evidence
                 in his defence.

      L.    Considering all the aforementioned circumstances and evidence of
      the relationship with the family of  the  deceased,  the  trial  court
      treated it to be a case of extreme culpability and a  rarest  of  rare
      case awarding death sentence under Section 302 IPC with a fine of  Rs.
      3,000/-. Under Section 376 IPC, the  appellant  was  awarded  rigorous
      life imprisonment and a fine  of  Rs.3,000/-;  in  default  of  making
      payment on both counts, sentence of one year on each  count  was  also
      awarded.  For the  offence  punishable  under  Section  450  IPC,  the
      appellant was awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment with  a  fine  of
      Rs.3,000/- and in default,  a  rigorous  imprisonment  for  one  year.
      However,  it  was  directed  that  all   the   sentences   would   run
      concurrently.


      M.     The trial  court  made  a  reference  to  the  High  Court  for
      affirming the death sentence.  The appellant,  being  aggrieved,  also
      preferred an appeal against his conviction  and  sentence  before  the
      High Court.  The appeal and the reference were heard together.
      N.    The High Court recorded the same findings after re- appreciation
      of evidence and came to the conclusion that prosecutrix was  14  years
      of age at the time of incident. The appellant was  admittedly  present
      in the house but he furnished  no  explanation  whatsoever  about  the
      injuries received by the deceased.  As  the  appellant  has  committed
      rape upon an innocent and helpless child and then killed her brutally,
      it  has  shocked  not  only  the  judicial  conscience  but  even  the
      conscience of society as  well.  The  High  Court  also  recorded  the
      finding that the offence had been committed  in  pre-mediated  manner.
      The death sentence was affirmed and the appeal was dismissed.
            Hence, these appeals.


      3.    Ms. A. Sumathi, learned  counsel  appearing  on  behalf  of  the
      appellant,  has  submitted  that  the  appellant  had   falsely   been
      implicated by the family members of the deceased at  the  instance  of
      the police.  There is  no  eye-witness  in  the  case.   Sanchit  Jojo
      (PW.2),  brother of the prosecutrix, is a child witness and cannot  be
      relied upon simply for the reason that after seeing the  incident  and
      knowing well that his sister had been killed, he  did  not  raise  any
      alarm even after the accused had left the spot.  Even in the  morning,
      he did not tell his parents when they came back from the  agricultural
      fields  as  what  had  happened.  Therefore,  the  courts  below  have
      committed a grave error while placing reliance upon the deposition  of
      the child witness.  It is a clear cut case of circumstantial  evidence
      for which the prosecution could not furnish  explanation   on  various
      counts and it cannot be held that appellant had  committed  rape  upon
      prosecutrix and, subsequently, killed her. The facts and circumstances
      of the case did not warrant  death sentence as awarded by  the  courts
      below, and hence, the appeals deserve to be allowed.


      4.    Per contra,  Ms. Vanshaja Shukla, learned counsel  appearing  on
      behalf of the State, has vehemently  opposed  the  appeals  contending
      that the appellant had a pre-meditated intention to commit the offence
      and that is why he asked the prosecutrix  to  sleep  separately.   The
      chemical analysis report as well as the DNA  report  make  it  crystal
      clear that no other person except  the  appellant  had  committed  the
      offence and the manner in which the offence had been committed and the
      gravity of the offence warrant nothing less than  the  death  sentence
      and, thus, the appeals lack merit and are liable to be dismissed.


      5.    We have considered the rival submissions  made  by  the  learned
      counsel for the parties and perused the records.


      6.    We have been taken through the impugned  judgments  rendered  by
      the High Court as well as the trial court and the evidence on  record.
      In view of the concurrent findings of  fact  recorded  by  the  courts
      below, particularly in respect of the DNA report to  the  extent  that
      the semen of the appellant  was  found  in  the  vagina  swab  of  the
      prosecutrix and that she died of asphyxia caused by strangulation,  we
      affirm the findings of fact recorded by the courts below.


      7.    Sanchit Jojo (PW.2), who is an eye-witness, was a  child  as  he
      was 10 years of age at the time of incident.  The  courts  below  have
      found him worth reliance as he has understood the questions put to him
      and  he  was  able  to  answer  the  same.  The  issue  regarding  the
      admissibility of evidence of a child witness is no more res intergra.


      8.    It is a settled legal proposition of law that every  witness  is
      competent to depose unless the court considers that  he  is  prevented
      from understanding the question put to him, or  from  giving  rational
      answers by reason of tender age or  extreme  old  age  or  disease  or
      because of his mental or physical condition. Therefore, a court has to
      form an opinion from the circumstances as to whether  the  witness  is
      able to understand the duty of speaking the truth, and further in case
      of a child witness, the court has to ascertain that the witness  might
      have not been tutored. Thus, the evidence of a child witness  must  be
      evaluated more carefully and with  greater  circumspection  because  a
      child is susceptible to be swayed by what others tell him.  The  trial
      court must ascertain as to whether a child is able to discern  between
      right or wrong and it may be ascertained only by putting the questions
      to him.


      9.    This Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Ramesh & Anr., (2011) 4
      SCC 786, after considering a large number of its judgments came to the
      conclusion as under:
           “In view of the above, the law on the issue can be summarized to
           the effect that the deposition of a child  witness  may  require
           corroboration,  but  in  case  his   deposition   inspires   the
           confidence of  the  court  and  there  is  no  embellishment  or
           improvement therein, the court may rely upon his  evidence.  The
           evidence of a child witness must  be  evaluated  more  carefully
           with  greater  circumspection  because  he  is  susceptible   to
           tutoring.  Only in case there is evidence on record to show that
           a child has been tutored, the Court  can  reject  his  statement
           partly or fully. However, an inference as to whether  child  has
           been tutored or not, can be  drawn  from  the  contents  of  his
           deposition.”


      (See also: Suryanarayana v. State of Karnataka, AIR 2001 SC 482).


      10.   In view of the above, as the courts below have found  the  child
      witness worth reliance, we do not see any cogent reason to take a view
      contrary to the same.


      11.   Admittedly, the appellant did not take any defence while  making
      his statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C., rather  boldly  alleged  that
      the family of the deceased had roped him falsely at  the  instance  of
      the police. However, appellant could not reveal as  for  what  reasons
      the police was by any means inimical to him.


      12.   The accused  has  a  duty  to  furnish  an  explanation  in  his
      statement  under  Section  313  Cr.P.C.  regarding  any  incriminating
      material that has been produced against him. If the accused  has  been
      given the freedom to remain silent during the investigation as well as
      before the court, then the accused may choose to maintain  silence  or
      even remain in complete denial when his statement  under  Section  313
      Cr.P.C. is being recorded. However, in such an event, the court  would
      be entitled to draw an inference,  including  such  adverse  inference
      against the accused as may be  permissible  in  accordance  with  law.
      (Vide: Ramnaresh & Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh, AIR  2012  SC  1357;
      Munish Mubar v. State of Haryana, AIR 2013 SC 912; and Raj Kumar Singh
      alias Raju @ Batya v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2013 SC 3150).
            In the instant case, as the appellant did not take  any  defence
      or furnish any explanation as to any  of  the  incriminating  material
      placed by the trial court, the courts  below  have  rightly  drawn  an
      adverse inference against him.


      13.   The appellant has not denied his presence in the house  on  that
      night. When the children were left in the custody of the appellant, he
      was bound to explain as under what circumstances Gounjhi died.


      14.   In Prithipal Singh & Ors. v. State of Punjab &  Anr.,  (2012)  1
      SCC 10, this Court relying on its earlier judgment in State of W.B. v.
      Mir Mohammad Omar, AIR 2000 SC 2988, held as under:
           “….. if fact is especially in the knowledge of any person,  then
           burden of proving that fact is upon him. It  is  impossible  for
           the prosecution to prove certain facts particularly  within  the
           knowledge of the accused. Section 106 is not intended to relieve
           the prosecution of its burden to prove the guilt of the  accused
           beyond reasonable doubt. But the section would  apply  to  cases
           where the prosecution has succeeded in proving facts from  which
           a reasonable inference can be drawn regarding the  existence  of
           certain other facts, unless the accused by virtue of his special
           knowledge regarding such facts, failed to offer any  explanation
           which might drive the  court  to  draw  a  different  inference.
           Section 106 of the Evidence Act  is  designed  to  meet  certain
           exceptional cases, in which, it  would  be  impossible  for  the
           prosecution to establish certain facts  which  are  particularly
           within the knowledge of the accused.”


      (See also: Neel Kumar alias Anil Kumar v. State of Haryana,  (2012)  5
      SCC 766; and Gian Chand & Ors. v. State of Haryana, AIR 2013 SC 3395).


      15.   This Court in Prajeet Kumar Singh v. State of  Bihar,  (2008)  4
      SCC 434 had confirmed the death sentence awarded  by  the  High  Court
      observing that accused had been living  as  a  family  member  of  the
      victim and had been provided with shelter and meals, despite which  he
      committed ghastly and brutal  murder  of  three  defenceless  children
      without any provocation.


      16.   In a similarly situated case in Kamta Tiwari v. State  of  M.P.,
      AIR 1996 SC 2800, this Court found that the accused was close  to  the
      family of the deceased.  The deceased and her  siblings used  to  call
      the accused uncle and her closeness with the appellant encouraged  her
      to trust him and when the accused had committed the rape and  gruesome
      murder causing numerous injuries on her body, this Court found  it  to
      be a fit case for awarding  death  sentence.  The  Court  observed  as
      under:
           “When an innocent hapless girl of 7 years was subjected to  such
           barbaric treatment by a person who was  in  a  position  of  her
           trust  his  culpability  assumes  the  proportion   of   extreme
           depravity and arouses a sense of revulsion in the  mind  of  the
           common man. In fine, the  motivation  of  the  perpetrator,  the
           vulnerability of the victim, the  enormity  of  the  crime,  the
           execution thereof persuade us to hold that this is a “rarest  of
           rare” cases where the sentence of death is  eminently  desirable
           not only to deter others from committing such  atrocious  crimes
           but also to give emphatic expression to society’s abhorrence  of
           such crimes.”


      (See also: Dhananjoy Chatterjee @ Dhana v. State of W.B., (1994) 2 SCC
      220)


      17.   However, in  Bantu @ Naresh Giri v. State of M.P., AIR  2002  SC
      70,  while dealing with the case of rape and murder of a six years old
      girl, this Court found that the case was not one  of  the  'rarest  of
      rare case’. The Court noticed that, accused was less than 22 years  at
      the time of commission of the offence, there were no injuries  on  the
      body of the deceased and the death probably occurred as  a  result  of
      gagging of the nostril by the accused. Thus, the Court while  noticing
      that the crime was heinous, commuted the sentence of death to  one  of
      life imprisonment.


      18.   In Mohinder Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR  2013  SC  3622,  this
      Court dealt with the case of death sentence observing:
           “In this context, we are only  reminded  of  the  Tamil  proverb
           “[pic]” which means in English “when the fence eats the  crops”.
           When the father himself happens  to  be  the  assailant  in  the
           commission of such beastly crime, one can visualise the pathetic
           situation in which the girl would have been placed and that  too
           when such a shameless act was committed in the presence  of  her
           own mother. When the daughter and the mother were  able  to  get
           their grievances redressed by getting  the  appellant  convicted
           for the said offence of rape one would have in the normal course
           expected the appellant to have displayed a conduct  of  remorse.
           Unfortunately, the subsequent conduct of the appellant  when  he
           was on parole disclosed that he approached the victims in a  far
           more vengeful manner by assaulting  the  hapless  victims  which
           resulted in  filing  of  an  FIR  once  in  the  year  2005  and
           subsequently when he  was  on  parole  in  the  year  2006.  The
           monstrous mindset of the appellant appears to have not  subsided
           by mere assault on the  victims  who  ultimately  displayed  his
           extreme inhuman behaviour by eliminating his daughter  and  wife
           in such a gruesome manner in which he committed  the  murder  by
           inflicting the injuries on the vital parts of the  body  of  the
           deceased and that too with all vengeance at his command in order
           to ensure that they met with instantaneous death. The nature  of
           injuries as described  in  the  post-mortem  report  speaks  for
           itself as to the vengeance with which the appellant attacked the
           hapless victims. He was not even prepared to spare  his  younger
           daughter viz. PW 2  who,  however,  escaped  the  wrath  of  the
           appellant by bolting herself inside a room after  she  witnessed
           the grotesque manner in which the appellant took away  the  life
           of his wife and daughter.”



            However, the Court concluded that  applying  various  principles
      culled out from earlier judgments of this Court, the case did not fall
      within the category of “rarest of rare case”, though it called  for  a
      stringent punishment.

      19.   The extreme penalty of death need not  be  inflicted  except  in
      gravest cases of extreme culpability.  Before  opting  for  the  death
      penalty the circumstances of the offender also  require  to  be  taken
      into consideration alongwith the circumstances of the  crime  for  the
      reason that life imprisonment is the rule and  death  sentence  is  an
      exception. The penalty of death sentence may be warranted  only  in  a
      case where the court comes to the conclusion that imposition  of  life
      imprisonment is totally  inadequate  having  regard  to  the  relevant
      circumstances of the crime.  The  balance  sheet  of  aggravating  and
      mitigating circumstances has to be drawn  up  and  in  doing  so,  the
      mitigating circumstances have to be accorded full weightage and a just
      balance has to  be  struck  between  the  aggravating  and  mitigating
      circumstances before option is exercised.
           Thus, it is evident that for awarding the death sentence,  there
      must be existence of aggravating circumstances and  the  consequential
      absence of mitigating circumstances.  As  to  whether  death  sentence
      should be awarded, would depend upon the factual scenario of the  case
      in hand.


      20.   A three-Judge Bench of  this  Court  in  Swami  Shraddananda   @
      Murali Manohar Mishra v. State of Karnataka, AIR 2008 SC 3040, wherein
      considering the facts of the case, the Court set aside the sentence of
      death penalty and awarded life  imprisonment,  but  further  explained
      that in order to serve the ends  of  justice,  the  appellant  therein
      would not be released from prison till the end of his life.


      21.   Thus, taking into consideration the aforesaid judgments, we  are
      of the view that in spite of the fact that the appellant had committed
      a heinous crime and raped an innocent, helpless and defenceless  minor
      girl who was in his custody, he is liable to be punished severely  but
      it is not a case which falls within  a  category  of  rarest  of  rare
      cases.  Hence,  we  set  aside  the  death  sentence  and  award  life
      imprisonment. The appellant must serve a minimum of 35 years  in  jail
      without remission, before consideration of  his  case  for  pre-mature
      release. However, it  would  be  subject  to  clemency  power  of  the
      Executive.
           The appeals stand disposed of.
           Before we part, we would like to note with appreciation that  in
      the instant case investigation and all judicial proceedings upto  this
      Court stood  concluded  in  less  than  8  months  from  the  date  of
      incidence. Thus, it is an exemplar of expeditious justice  in  country
      of chronic delay by smooth functioning of investigating agency, courts
      and the members of legal fraternity.  We expect such  prompt  disposal
      of cases specifically in cases of such grave nature.


                                         …..………….................. J.
                                         (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)




                                         …..………….................. J.
                                         (M.Y. EQBAL)




      NEW DELHI
      FEBRUARY 25, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.