The Madhya Pradesh High Court has commuted a death sentence to life imprisonment of a man convicted in rape and murder of his minor daughter for his case do not fall in rarest or rare category.
According to the court mitigating facts and circumstances in the case show the man sentenced to gallows is not a hardcore criminal or threat /menace to the society or antisocial element and have no criminal antecedent.
In addition the court found the prosecution has failed to prove that the appellant is incapable of being reformed and he is father of prosecutrix so there is every probability that he can be reformed and rehabilitated.
There is a global move to abolish death sentence where 138 countries have abolished death sentence while 59 countries including India have retained death sentence, the court order cited details from one of the Apex Court order.
The appellant fulfils all four objectives which State intends to achieve namely deterrence, retribution, prevention and reformation can be achieved by keeping the appellant alive.
A division bench of Justice S K Gangele and Justice H P Singh said “he is liable to be punished severely but it is not a case which falls within a category of rarest of rare cases”.
“The balance sheet of aggravating and mitigating circumstances has to be drawn up and in doing so, the mitigating circumstances have to be accorded full weightage and a just balance has to be struck between the aggravating and mitigating circumstances before option is exercised”, the court held.
The court observed the judicial approach towards sentencing “has to be more cautious, circumspect and careful”.
The court disposed of the appeal and the reference.
Read the Judgment here.
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