“In our considered opinion in the instant case the alleged offence is not committed in barbaric and brutal manner, hence it does not fall within “rarest of rare” case to award death sentence.”
The Madhya Pradesh High Court yet again commuted a death sentence awarded under newly-introduced Section 376AB IPC to a man accused of raping a three-year-old girl.
This is the third such commutation by the high court in the month of October.
Touheed was convicted by the trial court for raping a three-year-old girl. The court had held that prosecution case is corroborated by evidence of eye-witnesses, medical evidence and DNA test report. He was convicted under Sections 376AB and 450 of IPC and was awarded capital punishment.
While upholding conviction recorded by the trial court, the bench of Justice SK Seth and Justice Anjuli Palo observed that it is not appropriate to award ‘death sentence’ in every case.
“In our considered opinion in the instant case the alleged offence is not committed in barbaric and brutal manner; hence it does not fall within “rarest of rare” case to award death sentence,” the bench added.
Referring to precedents, the bench said that, to award death sentence, some factors are necessary to be considered, such as the age of culprit, the manner of commission of offence and possibilities of reformation of accused, etc.
It also took note of the judgment delivered recently by a CJ-headed bench in Bhaggi @ Bhagirath @ Naran vs. State of Madhya Pradesh. In the said case, the high court had commuted death penalty awarded to a man accused of raping a seven-year-old.
The bench then ordered: “The conviction under Section 376AB is maintained, but the capital punishment is hereby commuted to life imprisonment which shall mean imprisonment for remainder of natural life with fine of Rs. 15,000/- which is to be paid to the prosecutrix as compensation under Section 357 of Cr.P.C.”