Accused Was A Young Boy: Bombay HC Commutes Death Penalty In Acid Attack Murder Case [Read Judgment]

Accused Was A Young Boy: Bombay HC Commutes Death Penalty In Acid Attack Murder Case [Read Judgment]

"There was nothing to indicate that the accused was beyond reformation and rehabilitation."

The Bombay High Court has commuted death penalty awarded to a man accused in an acid-attack-murder case.

Preeti Amarsingh Rath, who had got selection as Nursing Officer in Military Nursing Services, was on her way to Mumbai to join naval office, when Ankur Narayanlal Panwar threw acid on her. After a few days, she succumbed to these injuries. The Trial Court convicted Ankur and sentenced him to death.

The circumstance of the case and particularly the choice of acid do not disclose a cold blooded plan to murder the deceased, said the bench comprising of B.P.Dharmadhikari and Justice Prakash D. Naik while commuting the death sentence. The bench upheld the conviction recorded by the Trial court.

The bench noted that, in this case, the accused was young boy aged about 23 years and there is no past criminal record, and thus it could not be termed as "rarest of the rare" case. The bench said:

"The Trial Court relied on collective conscience to hold that the appellant deserves death penalty. The Trial Court has also relied on the crime test to hold that the case is rarest of rare while ignoring the criminal test, as laid down in several decision referred to hereinabove. There was nothing to indicate that the accused was beyond reformation and rehabilitation, as mandated in the case of Bachan Singh and other cases. The mitigating circumstance that the accused was of young age at the time of commission of offence, was ignored by the Trial Court. In the circumstances, although conviction of the accused can be confirmed, the death sentence will have to be commuted to imprisonment for life."

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