“It is true that in the present case, there were aggravating circumstances, but the early age of the appellant is also required to be noticed.”
The Patna High Court on Friday commuted death penalty awarded to a man convicted for rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Bihar.
Hari Kishun Sada was convicted by the trial court for rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl. He was convicted under Sections 376, 302 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar and Justice Arvind Srivastava, though upheld conviction recorded by the trial court, observed: “Learned Trial Judge has come to the conclusion that it was a case for capital punishment, but fact remains that such sentence is to be imposed in rarest of the rare cases and in each case, its fact is essential ingredient for deciding such sentence. It is true that in the present case, there were aggravating circumstances, but the early age of the appellant is also required to be noticed. Besides his early age, it has also been noticed that the appellant was the first offender and nothing has been brought on record that appellant was accused in any case earlier.”
The bench then modified the sentence to life imprisonment in view of the early age of the accused and considering the fact that on record, there is nothing that he was having criminal antecedents.
Last month also, in another death reference case, the same bench had converted sentence of death penalty imposed on a man accused of rape and murder of a 3-year-old to life imprisonment on the very same grounds viz. ‘early’ age and lack of criminal antecedents.
But in April 2018, the same bench had upheld death sentence awarded by the trial court to a 50-year-old man accused of rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. The Supreme Court recently stayed the execution of death sentence.