The Supreme Court has stayed execution of seven death row convicts accused of accused of gang rape of a mentally ill woman in Rohtak (Punjab).
The bench comprising the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta granted leave in the special leave petition filed by the seven persons whose death sentence was affirmed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in March.
Senior Advocate Vibha Datta Makhija has argued that neither the Trial Court nor the High Court examined the mitigating circumstances of each of the accused prior to grant of death sentence. This is in violation of Constitution Becnh Judgment in Bachan Singh Case.
Describing the crime as 'animalism' and '"tsunami" of cruelty', the High Court bench comprising Justice AB Chaudhary and Justice Surinder Gupta, had also imposed a fine of Rupees 50 Lakh, which is to be recovered from the convicts by attaching/selling their respective immovable properties like plot, house, agricultural land etc.
Sunil @ Mada, Sunil @ Sheela, Sarvar @ Billu, Pawan, Padam @ Parmod, Manbir @ Manni and Rajesh @ Ghochrum, are the convicts in the case. The High Court had observed thus:
"A mentally ill woman, who came out of her sister's house situated on the outskirts of the town Rohtak, started walking towards unpopulated open area, was ensnared and waylaid by these appellants/accused by forcibly making her sit on their motorcycle. She was taken to two places where she was raped by all the appellants/accused one by one. The appellants/accused had consumed alcohol. They changed the spot due to fear as a police jeep had passed. They pushed her down in the field and started hitting her with the bricks. Rajesh @ Ghochru again raped her and she was again hit with bricks. She was still alive. What must be the excruciating pain to almost half dead young woman! Then the 'animalism', torment, highest order of cruelty rather "tsunami" of cruelty made thereafter is bound to petrify one and all. Rajesh @ Ghochru placed a cement sheet on her anus and thrust it inside by hitting it inside with brick. She shrieked for the last time and breathed her last. Now we ask the question to ourselves; what else is required to hold this case to be the rarest of rare!"
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