The Supreme Court last week ‘altered’ death sentence awarded to a murder convict to ‘life imprisonment’.
The bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Justice MR Shah set aside the death penalty imposed on Swapan Kumar Jha in a short order stating that a reasoned order will follow.
The same bench had, on the previous day, passed a similar ‘reasoned order will follow” order commuting death penalty imposed on a man accused of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Rajasthan.
“Taking into consideration the submissions made by the learned counsel appearing for the parties, we deem it fit that death penalty imposed upon the appellant, who was convicted under Section 302 and also under Section 364-A of the Indian Penal Code, by the Trial Court which was later on confirmed by the High Court, is altered to that of `life imprisonment’ under the category of special sentencing,” the bench said.
It also clarified that the accused is not entitled to remission. The bench also dismissed the appeals filed by other two co-accused.
Swapan Kumar Jha was convicted by the trial court for kidnap and murder of his cousin. While confirming the death sentence, the high court had observed that it is a case of betrayal of trust and no society will survive if the trust is betrayed by a close relation.
It had remarked: “Mental agony of the parents who lost their son and that too at the instance of their close relative, put them under a great shock and such incident is sufficient to put the society at large under threat and no one will have trust or faith in others.”