Death Sentence for rape and murder of a 4 year old

As reported in Times of India, Supreme Court’s 3 Judge Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R F Nariman and U U Lalit sent a 47-year-old man to the gallows for luring a 4-year-old girl with the promise of buying her chocolates, brutally assaulting her sexually and then murdering her by using two heavy stones to crush her skull when she was writhing in pain after the perverted act. 

Accused was convicted based on ‘last seen theory‘ corroborated by several independent witnesses. On February 23, 2012, trial court awarded death penalty finding the crime falling within the parameters for ‘rarest of the rare‘ category. Also court could not find any mitigating circumstances in favour of the convict, an exercise mandated by the Supreme Court in Machhi Singh case. 

While affirming the conviction and sentence of trial court, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court observed that, “The accused raped a 4-year-old girl and thereafter battered and smashed her head by two heavy stones and killed her… Battering the head of the girl of tender age was done by the accused with extreme cruelty.

Justice Misra observed that, “This case deserves to fall in the category of “rarest of rare” cases. It is inconceivable from the perspective of society that a married man aged about two scores and seven make a four-year minor innocent girl child the prey of his lust and deliberately cause her death.” 

Further, it was observed by the Bench that, the child trusted the accused, because of his acquaintance with her family and the socially ingrained trust attached to such proximity with elders. “The offence committed by the accused is not only betrayal of an individual trust but destruction and devastation of the social trust. It is perversity in its enormity. It irrefragably invites the extreme abhorrence and indignation of the collective,” Court said and upheld award of death penalty.

Court further observed that, “the offence was not committed under any mental stress or emotional disturbance and it is difficult to comprehend that he would not commit such acts and would be reformed and rehabilitated. Also, court was of the opinion that, “the barbaric act of the appellant does not remotely show any concern for the precious life of a minor child who had not seen life. The criminality of the conduct of the appellant is not only depraved and debased, but can have a menacing effect on the society“, and “as the circumstances would graphically depict, he would remain a menace to the society, for a defenceless child has become his prey. In our consideration, there are no mitigating circumstances“, the court said.

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