On Thursday the MP High Court confirmed the death penalty awarded to a youth who was accused of rape and murder of 16-year-old girl. The Session Court had convicted Rabbu Alias Sarvesh under sections 5(g)/6 of the POCSO Act and sections 450, 376(2)(i), 376(D), 376(A) of IPC. The case was that the Juvenile co-accused along with the accused committed gang rape of a minor girl and also committed her murder by setting her at ablaze, the minor girl died after 7 days.
The bench observed that the accused has committed an act of the rarest of rare category and is of extreme depravity because the accused raped the girl whose only fault was that she believed that the accused to be her well-wisher.
According to the court, the extreme punishment was required to be given to deter the criminals indulging in such crime. The crime against the girl child is on the rise and are increasing therefore extreme punishment is necessary.
“The crime against the girl child is on rising, therefore, extreme punishment may deter the other criminals indulging in such crime. Such crime sends shock wave in the society when it is committed against a girl child. This Court has the social responsibility to make the citizen of this country know that law cannot come to the rescue of such person on the basis of humanity. The extreme punishment may convey a message to these predators that it is not a soft State where the criminals committing such serious crimes may get a reprieve in the guise of humanity,” the court observed.
The court further observed: “We are immensely appalled by the alarming increase in the recent incidents of child rapes and also being aware of the rising anger of the society over rape of minor across the country, therefore, consider death sentence as a measure of social necessity and also a mean of deterring other potential offenders. In view of the foretasted, in our considered view, the capital punishment to the accused is the only proper punishment and we see no reason to take a different view than the one taken by the trial Court.”
The bench also raised a contention on the behalf of the accused that if an accused is convicted by the trial court for any offence in which death penalty is given, the court should postpone the hearing upon the sentence. But in this case, the case was heard by the trial court on the same day on which the sentence was given on which the judgment was passed.
In this regard, the bench observed that there is no mandatory requirement to postpone each and every case for hearing on the sentence. The court said: “Only it is advisable that when the Court is going to impose a death penalty, an appropriate opportunity for hearing upon sentence should be provided to the accused. In this, it appears from para-55 of the impugned judgment that when the trial Court held guilty the appellant, then the Court explain to the accused that if he wants to say something about the sentence or he wants to produce any evidence then he can call any witness through the Court. After that, the Court postpone the hearing for sometimes. Thereafter at 03:30 P.M. the matter was heard on sentence. The accused was represented by the counsel of his own choice but the accused or his counsel did not request to the Court for seeking any adjournment for arguments or for submission of any type of evidence. Therefore, it can be said that no prejudice has been caused by the applicant.”