Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rape & Murder Of 3 Month Old Baby: SC Stays Death Penalty (Madhya Pradesh)


"The rape of a infant is nothing but a monstrous burial of her dignity in the darkness." (HC Observation) 

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, stayed death penalty imposed on a man convicted for rape and murder of a 3- month old infant. The bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, granted leave in the Special Leave Petition filed by Naveen @ Ajay against the Judgment of the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. In December 2018, the High Court bench comprising of Justice P.K. Jaiswal and Justice S.K. Awasthi had confirmed the conviction and sentence of Naveen @ Ajay recorded by the Trial Court. He was convicted under Section 363, 366A, 376 (A) (2) (i) (j) (k) (m), and 302 of the Indian Penal Code and also under Section 5 (m) (i) / 6 of the POCSO Act.

While confirming his death sentence, the bench at Indore had observed: "The rape of a infant is nothing but a monstrous burial of her dignity in the darkness. It is a crime against the holy body of a girl child and the soul of the society and such a crime is aggravated by the manner in which it has been committed. It was not committed by accused under any mental stress or emotional disturbance and it is difficult to comprehend that he would not commit such acts and would be reformed and rehabilitated. The act of the appellant / accused meets the test of "rarest of the rare case".

Last week, the same bench had stayed death penalty confirmed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in another case. In January, 2019, the Jabalpur bench of the High Court had confirmed death sentence of Rabbu alias Sarvesh under Sections 450, 376(2)(i), 376(D), 376(A) of IPC and Section 5(g)/6 of the POCSO Act. The prosecution case was that the accused, along with a juvenile co-accused, committed gang-rape on the girl and set her ablaze.

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