The Kerala High Court has commuted death sentence awarded to a man accused of rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl.
The division bench comprising of Justice AM Shaffique and Justice P Somarajan affirmed the conviction recorded by the trial court. Most vital evidence in this case was the DNA report which stated that the spermatozoa taken from the vagina matched with the DNA profile of the accused.
The prosecution case was that the accused, Rajesh Kumar, trespassed into the girl's house with an intention to commit rape and theft, committed murder by throttling her and thereafter tied a towel tightly around her neck to ensure her death. He committed theft of a gold necklace and a gold ring from her body.
The bench observed that his is a case in which the lust and greed of the accused resulted in the rape and murder of a minor girl.
While commuting death sentence, the bench said: "Of course, this is a case in which there was no premeditation and the intention to commit crime would have developed all of a sudden. The evidence at hand proves beyond doubt that the murder was committed by the accused/appellant while committing rape on the victim after trespassing into her dwelling house. Thereafter, he had stolen the gold articles belonging to the victim and pledged it in a false name. He is a person who has married twice and has children. He was aged 29 years at the time of incident. There is no evidence to prove that he had any criminal antecedents. The offence might have been committed in a sudden rush of blood i.e., to commit robbery and rape."
The court said that instead of death penalty, the punishment of life imprisonment would meet the ends of justice. But taking into account the gravity of the offence, the bench ordered that no remission shall be granted to the accused for a period of 25 years.