Kerala HC Confirms Death Penalty For Convict In Double Rape-Murder Case [Read Judgment]

Kerala HC Confirms Death Penalty For Convict In Double Rape-Murder Case [Read Judgment]

The High Court of Kerala has upheld death penalty awarded by trial court for a person convicted of rape and murder of a mother-daughter duo. The crime happened on December 2, 2007, in Idukki district.

The District and Sessions Court Thodupuzha found the accused Rajendran guilty of the double rape-murder and sentenced him to death. The crime was committed by Rajendran along with another accused Jomon, who absconded. Therefore the case against Rajendran was split up and tried separately. Both of them had ravished the victims alternately and murdered them by inflicting multiple injuries on their head with iron rod and chopper.

The judgment dated October 31 delivered by the HC Division Bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and K P Jyothindranath(since retired) considered the Death Sentence Reference as well as the appeal filed by accused Rajendran. Though there was no direct eye witness for the crime, there were testimonies which indicated the presence of accused near the house of the victims. Also, there was forensic evidence from the seminal stains, hair samples and nail clippings of the accused which linked him to the crime without leaving any room for doubt.

The HC also confirmed death penalty observing that "the commission of murder was intentional, cold blooded and brutal and it was committed after ravishing two hapless women, mother and daughter, that too in a ruthless manner from the same room". The Court also took note of the fact that one of the victims had a child aged 7 months then. "The manner in which the offences were executed, in the circumstances explained hereinbefore, we are of the firm view that they are sufficient to make the commission of the crime uncommon and at the same time tend us to believe firmly that imposition of the sentence of imprisonment for life on the appellant would be inadequate", observed the judgment authored by Justice C T Ravikumar.

The Court also held that there were no mitigating circumstances favouring the accused. The Court held that the fact that the appellant got wife and children and execution of death sentence would draw his family orphaned cannot be taken as an extenuating factor. The age of the appellant was also held to be not a mitigating factor in this case. He was aged 42 at the time of commission of the crime and presently he is around 53. Thus, following the guidelines of "rarest of rare cases" in Bachan Singh case, the HC dismissed the appeal, confirming death penalty.

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