Nothing other than “death sentence” is the punishment for gruesome murder of a child only to satisfy lust

Madhya Pradesh High Court: While dismissing the appeals filed in regard to the commitment of heinous crime of gang rape and murder, the Division Bench of S.K Seth and Nandita Dubey JJ., pronounced death sentence to the convicts.

Once again the social fabric of the society was severely affected when the heinous offence of rape of an 11-year-old child and subsequently killing her took place in the most gruesome manner as it could have been possible.

According to the findings and observation of the trial court, it had after meticulous consideration of the records that were collected and the chain of events that occurred established that the accused committed the heinous crime of gang rape and murder of the deceased. Therefore, the trial court had found the accused guilty for offence punishable under Sections 376 A and 302-A IPC.

However, the High Court, while stating that when a case rests on circumstantial evidence, the Court has to be satisfied that the circumstances from which an inference of the guilt is sought to be drawn, must be cogently and firmly established and trial court had in the present case successfully established the chain of events and convicted the accused Bhagwani and Satish. Though unfortunately, the trial court failed to charge the accused for the offence under Section 377 IPC as clear evidence of carnal intercourse was attained in the post-mortem report. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed by confirming the death sentence awarded by the trial court to each of the accused. [In Reference (Received from District & Sessions Judge, Dindori (MP) v. Bhagwani,  2018 SCC OnLine MP 338,  dated 09-05-2018]

2 comments

  • Despite a recent spate of death sentences being awarded by the trial courts and confirmed by the appellate courts, it is pertinent to note that no convict sentenced to death for rape and murder has been actually executed in the last fourteen years. The long and tortuous dilatory judicial process followed by the interminable wait for the decision on the petition for Executive clemency followed by review petitions in Supreme Court makes a caricature of death sentence as a deterrence to such crimes. Hence death penalty is a toothless tiger confined to the statute book, and without having any deterrent effect whatsoever. Any punishment in order to be an effective deterrent must be severe, swift, and certain. Death penalty fails on the latter two counts. In fact, it will not be an exaggeration to say that it is a near certainty that a convict sentenced to death will not be executed.
    The solution to the problem lies in expediting the trial and the appellate process, and doing away with executive clemency and endless review/curative petitions if the State is serious about death penalty as an effective deterrent. Otherwise such judgments and orders are an exercise in futility and potential offenders will go about committing such heinous, diabolical, and revolting crimes with impunity.

  • Despite a recent spate of death sentences being awarded by the trial courts and confirmed by the appellate courts, it is pertinent to note that no convict sentenced to death for rape and murder has been actually executed in the last fourteen years. The long and tortuous dilatory judicial process followed by the interminable wait for the decision on the petition for Executive clemency followed by review petitions in Supreme Court makes a caricature of death sentence as a deterrence to such crimes. Hence death penalty is a toothless tiger confined to the statute book, and without having any deterrent effect whatsoever. Any punishment in order to be an effective deterrent must be severe, swift, and certain. Death penalty fails on the latter two counts. In fact, it will not be an exaggeration to say that it is a near certainty that a convict sentenced to death will not be executed.
    The solution to the problem lies in expediting the trial and the appellate process, and doing away with executive clemency and endless review/curative petitions if the State is serious about death penalty as an effective deterrent. Otherwise such judgments and orders are an exercise in futility and potential offenders will go about committing such heinous,diabolical, and revolting crimes with impunity.

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