Possibility Of Reformation Can't Be Ruled Out: MP HC Commutes Death Penalty Awarded To Man Accused Of Rape & Murder Of His Own Daughter [Read Judgment]
"The accused being a major having family with him, the possibility of reformation cannot be ruled out."
The Madhya Pradesh High court recently commuted death penalty awarded to a man accused of rape and murder of his own daughter.
The prosecution case against Afjal Khan was that he committed rape of his six year old daughter, and then murdered her and hanged her from the ceiling with the help of a dupatta in the upper floor of his house. As per the DNA report, the DNA profile of the accused matched with the DNA profile present in the vaginal swab of the girl. The Trial court convicted the accused and sentenced him to death.
The High Court bench comprising of Justice J.K.Maheshwari and Justice Anjuli Palo, though affirmed the conviction, took note of the following mitigating factors in favour of the accused to commute the death sentence:
• It is a case of circumstantial evidence.
• No evidence has been brought that the accused had the propensity of committing further crimes causing continuous threat to the society.
• Nothing has been brought on record to show that the accused cannot be reformed or rehabilitated.
• Other punishment options are unquestionably foreclosed.
• Accused is not a professional killer or offender having any criminal antecedent.
• The accused being a major having family with him, the possibility of reformation cannot be ruled out.
Though the bench agreed that it was extremely brutal, diabolic and cruel act, it referred to various Supreme Court judgments, including recent ones, which emphasizes need to adopt reformative approach. The bench then sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum of 30 years of imprisonment.