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Karandeep Sharma Alias Razia … vs State Of Uttarakhand on 5 January, 2018

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RESERVED JUDGMENT
IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL

Criminal Reference No.01 of 2017
State of Uttarakhand …..Applicant

Versus

Karandeep Sharma @ Razia @ Raju ….Respondent
Mr. Amit Bhatt, Deputy Advocate General for the State of Uttarakhand/applicant.
Mr. B.N. Molakhi, Advocate for the respondent.

with

Criminal Appeal No.156 of 2017

Karandeep Sharma @ Razia @ Raju …. Appellant

Versus

State of Uttarakhand …..Respondent

Mr. B.N. Molakhi, Advocate for the appellant.
Mr. Amit Bhatt, Deputy Advocate General for the State of Uttarakhand.

Reserved on: 20.12.2017
Delivered on: 05.01.2018
Coram : – Hon’ble Rajiv Sharma , J.

Hon’ble Alok Singh, J.

Per : Hon’ble Rajiv Sharma , J.

The criminal appeal No.156 of 2017 is
instituted against the judgment and order dated
05.04.2017 and 06.04.2017 rendered by learned
Additional Sessions Judge/FTC/Special POCSO Judge,
Rudrapur, District Udham Singh Nagar in Special
Sessions Trial No. 159 of 2016 whereby the appellant
was charged with and tried for the offences under Section
302/201/363/366/376(A) of IPC and Section 6 of
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act
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(hereinafter referred to as “POCSO Act”). The appellant
was convicted under Sections 376(A), 302, 201, 363, 366
of IPC and Section 6 of POCSO Act and in light of Section
42 of the POCSO Act, the appellant was sentenced under
Sections 376(A) of IPC. The appellant was sentenced with
Death Penalty under Section 376(A) IPC as well as under
Section 302 IPC. Under Section 366 IPC, the appellant
was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a
period of ten years and to pay fine of Rs.10,000/- and in
default of payment of fine, to undergo simple
imprisonment for a period of three months. For the
offence under Section 363 IPC, the appellant was
sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period
of three years and to pay fine of Rs.10,000/- and in
default of payment of fine, to undergo simple
imprisonment for three months. He was further
sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period
of three years and to pay fine of Rs.10,000/- under
Section 201 of IPC and in default of payment of fine, to
undergo simple imprisonment for three months.

2. Learned Additional Sessions Judge/Special
Judge POCSO/FTC, Rudrapur, District Udham Singh
Nagar has also made a reference to this Court bearing
Criminal Reference No.01 of 2017 for confirmation of
Death Sentence imposed upon the appellant/convict vide
judgment dated 5.4.2017 and order dated 6.4.2017.

3. The case of the prosecution, in a nutshell, is
that PW-1 (father of victim) has lodged a first information
report on 26.06.2016 to the effect that he alongwith his
family had gone to attend a Jagran function (religious
congregation) nearby his residence on 25-26.06.2016. He
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came back to his house at around 11.00 p.m. and went
to sleep. In the morning at about 05.00 a.m., his wife
informed him that their daughter has not come back
home and she was missing. They tried their level best to
trace her. When they were searching their daughter near
Dhakiya-Gulabo, someone told him that the body of a
child was lying in the nearby field. He identified the body
of his daughter. It seemed that the child was raped before
killed.

4. The dead body was sent for conducting the
post mortem examination. The first information report
was registered. The matter was investigated. The police
conducted the medical examination of the accused. The
samples were collected from the spot and they were sent
for FSL examination. The appellant has also made
confessional statement before the Magistrate under
Section 164 Cr.P.C. Challan was put up before the Court
after completing all the codal formalities.

5. The prosecution has examined as many as
fifteen witnesses in order to prove its case.

6. The statement of appellant was also recorded
under section 313 Cr.P.C. He has denied the case of the
prosecution and claimed to be tried. According to him, he
was falsely implicated. After conclusion of the trial, the
appellant was convicted and sentenced as noticed
hereinabove.

7. Mr. B.N. Molakhi, Advocate appearing on
behalf of the appellant, has vehemently argued that the
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prosecution has failed to prove its case against the
appellant.

8. Mr. Amit Bhatt, Dy. Advocate General
appearing on behalf of the State has supported the
impugned judgment and order dated 05.04.2017
06.04.2017. Learned Deputy Advocate General has also
vehemently argued that death sentence imposed upon
the appellant be confirmed in Criminal Reference No.01
of 2017.

9. We have heard learned counsel for the parties
in the appeal filed by the appellant as well as in Criminal
Reference filed by the State. We have also gone through
the impugned judgment and order, lower court record.

10. PW-1 is the father of deceased. According to
him, there was a Jagran function on 25.06.2016 nearby
his rented house. He was on duty from 02.00 p.m to
10.30 p.m. He came back at around 10.30 p.m. The
children had the dinner. Thereafter, he alongwith his
wife, children and his niece had gone to attend the
Jagran function. His wife and son came back at about
01.30 a.m.(night). His daughter, niece, neighbour’s
daughter namely Chunmun and many children from
neighbourhood were present in the function. In the
morning at about 05.00 a.m. his wife told him that their
daughter has not come back from the Jagran. Then, he
went to the site of Jagran to look for his daughter but he
could not trace her. When he was searching for his
daughter near Dhokya Gulabo, some person told him
that the dead body of a child was lying in a field near the
petrol pump. He went there. He identified the body of his
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daughter. The dead body was lying in the gourd field. He
saw blood on his daughter’s salwar. The condition of the
body was indicating that someone has committed rape
upon her and thereafter killed her. Police was also
present. Senior Police Officials also reached at the spot.
His daughter was eight years old. Her date of birth was
07.01.2008. He was cross examined by learned counsel
for the appellant. In his cross examination, he deposed
that he has studied upto 12th Standard. He did not know
the appellant before the incident.

11. PW-2 Jasweer Singh testified that he had come
to Dhakiya Gulabo. He also went to attend the Jagran. In
the morning at about 06.15 – 06.30, he came to know
that the dead body of a minor girl was lying in the field.
He went to spot. On seeing the body, he recognized the
dead body of minor girl whom he had seen last night
leaving the Jagran with one person who was working
with the Jagran group and was wearing thick lens
glasses. He was called as Raju @ Razia. The girl was the
same whom he had seen with the appellant. In his cross
examination, he deposed that he had come to see his
brother-in-law at Dhakiya Gulabo.

12. PW-3 Anandpal Singh has corroborated the
statement of PW-2 Jasweer Singh. He deposed that he
had also gone to attend the Jagran. In the morning at
about 06.15 – 06.30, he received information that the
dead body of a minor girl was lying in the field. He went
to the spot. He saw that the dead body of minor girl
whom he had seen last night leaving the Jagran with one
person wearing thick lens glasses who was working in
the Jagran. He was called as Raju @ Razia. He had seen
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her going with the appellant in the midnight towards
Dhakiya Gulabo. Police reached the spot. His statement
was recorded by the police. He signed on the
Panchayatnama. In his cross examination, he deposed
that there were 100-125 people in the Jagran. He
remained in the Jagran between 10.30 p.m. (night) till
05.30 a.m. (morning). Thereafter, he came back to his
house.

13. PW-4 Sheespal deposed that the information
was received on 26.06.2016 in the morning that the dead
body of his niece was recovered. He has seen that blood
was oozing out from the private part of the victim. He
also put his signature on panchayatnama. He also
noticed blue marks near the deceased’s eye. It was
apparent that deceased was raped and thereafter killed
by smothering.

14. PW-5 Smt. Rashmi Devi has deposed that at
about 03.30 a.m. she had seen a person, who was
wearing a cap, talking with the deceased. Thereafter, they
went towards Dhakiya Gulabo Shed. In the morning,
dead body of a minor girl was recovered. She was of the
view that the girl was killed by the person who was
wearing the cap and spectacles. She knew the deceased.

15. PW-6 Munesh Singh testified that on 25-
26/06/2016, the Jagran was organized by the locality.
He also attended the Jagran. He was coming from
Dhakiya Gulabo to attend the Jagran. He saw that one
person was with one girl near Dhakiya-Gulabo. The
person turned back and went towards the petrol pump
road. The girl was about 7-8 years old. He was of the view
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that the person, who was wearing spectacles and was
fixing the sound and light in the Jagran, was responsible
for the death of girl.

16. PW-7 Dr. Madan Mohan has conducted the

post mortem examination. He has also prepared the

slides. He has also noticed the following injuries on the

body of the deceased:-

“That on 26.06.2016 the dead body of the
victim child was brought before him. – He
along with his panel Doctor Megha Joshi
had done the postmortem of the dead
body – On examination of the Dead body
of the victim child they found that her
lips and nails had turned blue in color.
Victim’s head, hairs, back and bum had
mud on it and there was grass inside her
bum line. Clotted blood was present in
the victim’s vaginal and anal parts and
some hairs of an adult man were also
present there. They saw ante-mortem
injuries on her body-

(1) Abrasion marks each 3mmx2m sized
were present on her face below and
lateral to right eye.

(2) Injuries were found on vulva,
Lacerated starting at vaginal opening
post, anal region causing tear at 6’0
clock position towards anal region and
inside depth of vagina canal size
around 3 x 3 cm deep into upto 7cm
into the vagina. The vaginal canal was
torn. Mucous and muscle membrane
upto post were torned. There is
abraded and unlushed mark of both
lateral wall and anti wall vagina below
the clitoris. Muscles are also lacerated
beneth the post. – her trachea was
swallon and her both lungs, spleen
and both kidneys found congested. –
we collected samples from her body.

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Swab from vagina for examination of
spermatozoa and smegma bacilli, 5ml
blood taken from deceased, hairs
found from vulva wound, garments of
deceased all were collected for
examination and handed over to the
police constable who came along with
the dead body. – froth was coming out
from her nose and reason of death in
this case is not ascertained so we
preserved visra of this body and sent
this for chemical analysis to check for
any possibility of poisoning her.”

17. A specific question was put to PW-7 Dr. Madan
Mohan by the Trial Court whether the victim has died
due to commission of rape on her leading to asphyxia.
The doctor has answered in affirmative and has testified
that the victim died due to asphyxia as a result of
commission of rape, since the victim, as a result of
commission of rape, has undergone acute pain and shock
and due to exertion of pressure, she was suffocated. The
internal organs of the victim i.e. brain, liver, spleen and
kidneys were congested.

18. The Court has put a question to PW-7 Dr.
Madan Mohan about the injuries found on the penis of
the appellant. PW-7 replied that the injuries found on the
penis of the appellant were due to forceful penetrative
sexual assault. He has also noticed injuries on the
private part of the victim i.e. vulva, vagina etc. It is duly
proved that the victim died due to rape.

19. PW-8 Brijesh Kumar also deposed that he also
attended the Jagran. He has also seen the appellant with
the victim. He has organized the Jagran. He identified the
appellant as Raju @ Razia. According to him, the
appellant brought two young girls late at night in Jagran.
He requested them to make them “Mataji”. However, they
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refused politely. He took both of them from there. He
noticed the dead body of a girl in the field. It was looking
as a case of rape and murder.

20. PW-9 S.I. Saroj Kamboj deposed that she
received a call from SHO that the dead body of a minor
girl was lying in the field near Dhakiya Gulabo. She went
to the spot. The dead body was sent for post mortem
examination. Blood was oozing out from private part of
the deceased. She also noticed the injury near the right
eye of the deceased. The dead body of the minor girl was
suggesting the symptoms of rape and murder. She also
prepared the Panchayatnama.

21. PW-10 CCR Neelam Kanta deposed that she
also went to the spot. She saw that the dead body of the
minor girl. She noticed that blood was oozing out from
the private part of the deceased. She also saw mark of
injury near the right eye of the deceased. The body of the
minor girl was suggesting the symptoms case of rape and
murder after suffocating.

22. PW-11 Shiva Asthana deposed that he was
present in the Jagran. He was also one of organizers of
the Jagran. He identified the appellant who was working
in the Jagran as Electrician. According to him, the
appellant brought two minor girls before them and
requested them to make the girls as “Mata” but they
refused to do so. He took them away. Next day, they went
to the field and found a dead body of the minor girl.

23. PW-12 Prahlad Singh testified that he received
information from some informant on 28.06.2016 that
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appellant was present near Aliganj Petrol Pump carrying
a black bag. He was apprehended and arrested. The
appellant confessed his crime. The arrest memo was
prepared and signed. During the investigation, convict
told that he has two wives. First wife has left him.
Thereafter, he has contracted second marriage.

24. PW-13 Cons. 825 Anuj Tyagi is the formal
witness.

25. PW-14 Omprakash Sharma was the
Investigating Officer of the case. He has prepared the site
map. He proved FSL reports as Ex.Ka 18 and Chick FIR
as Ex.Ka.20. He collected samples from the appellant and
of the victim for DNA report. These were sent for FSL,
Dehradun. He lifted samples from the spot. He recovered
the clothes of appellant and victim. The convict has
contracted first marriage in the year 2010 and second
marriage on 24.06.2015. The wives left him and they
started living with their brothers.

26. PW-15 Jagdeesh Singh has simply registered
the FIR.

27. What emerges from the evidence of the
witnesses, enumerated hereinabove, is that the appellant
was seen by the independent witnesses in the Jagran.
PW-2 Jasweer Singh and PW-4 Sheespal have seen the
appellant leaving with the deceased. Similarly, PW-3
Anand Pal Singh has also seen that the appellant was
going with the deceased in the midnight towards Dhakiya
Gulabo. PW-5 Smt. Rashmi Devi has also seen the minor
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girl in the company of the appellant. According to her,
the appellant was wearing a cap and he was talking with
the deceased. PW-6 Munesh Singh has also seen the
appellant going with the minor girl. The person turned
back and thereafter, the appellant went towards petrol
pump road with the minor girl. PW-8 Brijesh Kumar
deposed that the appellant has come to them and asked
them that two girls be given the role of “Matas”. They
refused. Thereafter, the appellant left with two girls.
Thereafter, he saw the dead body of a minor girl in the
field. PW-11 Shiva Asthana was present in the Jagran.
According to him, appellant was working as Electrician in
the Jagran. The appellant has brought two girls and
requested them to give them role of “Matas” but they
refused them. Thereafter, the appellant was seen leaving
with those two girls. In the morning, the dead body of the
minor girl was found. The date of birth of the deceased
was 07.01.2008.

28. PW-7 Dr. Madan Mohan has categorically
deposed that the victim died due to asphyxia as a result
of commission of rape. The doctor has further opined
that as a result of commission of rape, the victim has
undergone acute pain and shock and due to exertion of
pressure, she was suffocated. The internal organs of the
victim i.e. brain, liver, spleen and kidneys were
congested. He has noticed the injuries on the body of the
victim, as noticed hereinabove. PW-7 Dr. Madan Mohan
has proved the post mortem report. According to the
Forensic Science Laboratory report Ex.Ka-18, the soil
sticking with the clothes of the deceased matched with
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the soil lifted from the spot. The Police also sent the
samples for DNA. The report reads as under: –

“The DNA test performed on the exihibits
provided is sufficient to conclude that,
(1) The DNA obtained from Exhibit -15 (T-shirt of
accused) is form a single female human source
and matching with the DNA obtained from the
Exhibit-1 (blood sample of deceased).
(2) The DNA obtained from the Exhibits-2,3,4 and 6
(hair of suspected, vaginal smear slide of the
deceased, paizami of deceased and underwear of
deceased) are matching with the DNA obtained
from the Exhibits -1 and 10 (blood sample of
deceased and blood sample of accused)”.

29. According to the FSL report, Human Semen
was detected on Exhibits-2 and 6. Human blood was
detected on Exhibits- 2,3,4,6 and 15. The statements of
the independent witnesses are duly corroborated by the
medical evidence as well as Forensic reports. The age of
the victim was merely 08 years.

30. Now, the Court will advert to the Reference
No.01 of 2017.

31. The appellant has taken advantage of her
young age and he committed rape upon the victim
causing her death. Recoveries were effected from the
convict. The act of the convict falls within the category of
‘rarest of rare’ cases. The convict was a married person.
According to PW7 Dr. Madan Mohan, the victim died due
to asphyxia as a result of commission of rape. The doctor
has further opined that as a result of commission of rape,
the victim has undergone acute pain and shock and due
to exertion of pressure, she was suffocated. The internal
organs of the victim i.e. brain, liver, spleen and kidneys
were congested.

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32. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(1979) 3 SCC 366 in the case of Nathu Garam Vs.
State of U.P., have upheld that death sentence imposed
upon the convict for causing death of 14 years girl after
luring her into the house for committing criminal assault.
Their Lordships have also held as under :-

“14. As regards the sentence, counsel for the
appellant urged that the lesser punishment should
have been awarded but we do not find any
extenuating or mitigating circumstances justifying the
lesser punishment. The question of sentence has
been elaborately discussed by the Sessions Judge
and the High Court has confirmed his view and we
see no reason to take a different view on the question
of sentence.”

33. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(1991) 1 SCC 752 in the case of Jumman Khan Vs.
State of U.P. and another, have declared the death
sentence “constitutional” and reaffirmed the majority
view in Bachan Singh’s case. Their Lordships have held
as under :-

“14. We are in full agreement with the view
chronologically expressed in Sher Singh case,
Bachan Singh case and Allauddin case holding that
the death sentence is constitutionally valid. In that
view, we are of the firm opinion that the decision of
the majority in Bachan Singh case needs no
reconsideration. The submission made by Mr Jain is
unpersuasive. In fact, a similar question urged in
Allauddin case did not find favour and it was
rejected.”

34. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(1994) 3 SCC 381 in the case of Laxman Naik Vs.
State of Orissa, have upheld the death sentence by
treating the case falling under the category of ‘Rarest of
rare cases’, as it was a case of calculated, cold-blooded
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and brutal murder of a seven years’ old girl by her own
uncle after committing rape on her. Their Lordships have
also held as under: –

“27. The hard facts of the present case are that the
appellant Laxman is the uncle of the deceased and
almost occupied the status and position that of a
guardian. Consequently the victim who was aged
about 7 years must have reposed complete
confidence in the appellant and while reposing such
faith and confidence in the appellant must have
believed in his bona fides and it was on account of
such a faith and belief that she acted upon the
command of the appellant in accompanying him
under the impression that she was being taken to her
village unmindful of the preplanned unholy designs
of the appellant. The victim was a totally helpless
child there being no one to protect her in the desert
where she was taken by the appellant misusing her
confidence to fulfill his lust. It appears that the
appellant had preplanned to commit the crime by
resorting to diabolical methods and it was with that
object that he took the girl to a lonely place to execute
his dastardly act.

28. The evidence of Dr Pushp Lata, PW 12, who
conducted the post-mortem over the dead body of the
victim goes to show that she had several external
and internal injuries on her person including a
serious injury in her private parts showing the
brutality which she was subjected to while
committing rape on her. The victim of the age of
Nitma could not have even ever resisted the act with
which she was subjected to. The appellant seems to
have acted in a beastly manner as after satisfying
his lust he thought that the victim might expose him
for the commission of the offence of forcible rape on
her to the family members and others, the appellant
with a view to screen the evidence of his crime also
put an end to the life of innocent girl who had seen
only seven summers. The evidence on record is
indicative of the fact as to how diabolically the
appellant had conceived of his plan and brutally
executed it and such a calculated, cold-blooded and
brutal murder of a girl of a very tender age after
committing rape on her would undoubtedly fall in the
category of rarest of the rare cases attracting no
punishment other than the capital punishment and
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consequently we confirm the sentence of death
imposed upon the appellant for the offence under
Section 302 of the Penal Code. As regards the
punishment under Section 376, neither the learned
trial Judge nor the High Court have awarded any
separate and additional substantive sentence and in
view of the fact that the sentence of death awarded
to the appellant has been confirmed we also do not
deem it necessary to impose any sentence on the
appellant under Section 376.

35. In the present case, the convict has took the
victim along with him. He committed rape upon her. She
died during the intercourse. Thus, it was a calculated,
cold-blooded and the brutal murder of an eight years’ old
girl by the appellant after committing rape on her. Thus,
no lenient view can be taken.

36. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(1999) 9 SCC 581 in the case of Molai and another Vs.
State of M.P., have held the death sentence ‘justified’.
Their Lordships have also held as under: –

“36. We have very carefully considered the
contentions raised on behalf of the parties. We have
also gone through various decisions of this Court
relied upon by the parties in the courts below as well
as before us and in our opinion the present case
squarely falls in the category of one of the rarest of
rare cases, and if this be so, the courts below have
committed no error in awarding capital punishment
to each of the accused. It cannot be overlooked that
Naveen, a 16-year-old girl, was preparing for her
Class 10th examination at her house and suddenly
both the accused took advantage of she being alone
in the house and committed a most shameful act of
rape. The accused did not stop there but they
strangulated her by using her undergarment and
thereafter took her to the septic tank along with the
cycle and caused injuries with a sharp-edged
weapon. The accused did not even stop there but
they exhibited the criminality in their conduct by
throwing the dead body into the septic tank totally
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disregarding the respect for a human dead body.
Learned counsel for the accused (appellants) could
not point any mitigating circumstance from the record
of the case to justify the reduction of sentence of
either of the accused. In a case of this nature, in our
considered view, the capital punishment to both the
accused is the only proper punishment and we see
no reason to take a different view than the one taken
by the courts below.”

37. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(2005) 3 SCC 114 in the case of State of U.P. Vs.
Satish, have held that the rape is one of the most
depraved acts. Such iniquitous, flagitious act becomes
abominable when the victim is a child. The diabolic act
reaches the lowest level of humanity when the rape is
followed by brutal murder. Their Lordships have held
that present case falls in the rarest of rate category and
death sentence awarded by the trial court was
appropriate. Their Lordships have also held as under :-

“2. One Vishakha @ Akansha (hereinafter referred
to as “the victim”) who had not even seen six
summers in her life lost her life on account of
bestial acts of the respondent Satish (hereinafter
referred to as “the accused”) who allegedly raped
her and thereafter murdered her. When the victim
went out to school on 16-8-2001, her parents
would have never thought in their wildest dreams
that she would not come back home and would
fall victim to the barbaric and inhuman acts of the
respondent. Rape is one of the most depraved
acts. The iniquitous, flagitious act becomes
abominable when the victim is a child. The
diabolic act reaches the lowest level of humanity
when the rape is followed by brutal murder.

24. There is no embargo on the appellate court
reviewing the evidence upon which an order of
acquittal is based. Generally, the order of acquittal
shall not be interfered with because the
presumption of innocence of the accused is further
strengthened by acquittal. The golden thread
which runs through the web of administration of
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justice in criminal cases is that if two views are
possible on the evidence adduced in the case, one
pointing to the guilt of the accused and the other to
his innocence, the view which is favourable to the
accused should be adopted. The paramount
consideration of the court is to ensure that
miscarriage of justice is prevented. A miscarriage
of justice which may arise from acquittal of the
guilty is no less than from the conviction of an
innocent. In a case where admissible evidence is
ignored, a duty is cast upon the appellate court to
reappreciate the evidence where the accused has
been acquitted, for the purpose of ascertaining as
to whether any of the accused really committed
any offence or not. (See Bhagwan Singh v. State of
M.P.) The principle to be followed by the appellate
court considering the appeal against the judgment
of acquittal is to interfere only when there are
compelling and substantial reasons for doing so. If
the impugned judgment is clearly unreasonable
and relevant and convincing materials have been
unjustifiably eliminated in the process, it is a
compelling reason for interference. These aspects
were highlighted by this Court in Shivaji Sahabrao
Bobade v. State of Maharashtra, Ramesh Babulal
Doshi v. State of Gujarat, Jaswant Singh v. State
of Haryana, Raj Kishore Jha v. State of Bihar,
State of Punjab v. Karnail Singh and State of
Punjab v. Phola Singh.

26. In Machhi Singh case it was observed: (SCC
pp. 471-72)
“The following questions may be asked and
answered as a test to determine the ‘rarest of the
rare’ case in which death sentence can be
inflicted:

(a) Is there something uncommon about the crime
which renders sentence of imprisonment for life
inadequate and calls for a death sentence?

(b) Are the circumstances of the crime such that
there is no alternative but to impose death
sentence even after according maximum
weightage to the mitigating circumstances which
speak in favour of the offender?

The following guidelines which emerge from
Bachan Singh case will have to be applied to the
facts of each individual case where the question of
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imposition of death sentence arises: (Machhi Singh
case, SCC p. 489, para 38)

(i) The extreme penalty of death need not be
inflicted except in gravest cases of extreme
culpability.

(ii) Before opting for the death penalty the
circumstances of the ‘offender’ also require to be
taken into consideration along with the
circumstances of the ‘crime’.

(iii) Life imprisonment is the rule and death
sentence is an exception. Death sentence must be
imposed only when life imprisonment appears to
be an altogether inadequate punishment having
regard to the relevant circumstances of the crime,
and provided, and only provided, the option to
impose sentence of imprisonment for life cannot be
conscientiously exercised having regard to the
nature and circumstances of the crime and all the
relevant circumstances.

(iv) A 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 the mitigating
circumstances before the option is exercised.
In rarest of rare cases when the collective
conscience of the community is so shocked, that it
will expect the holders of the judicial power centre
to inflict death penalty irrespective of their
personal opinion as regards desirability or
otherwise of retaining death penalty, death
sentence can be awarded. The community may
entertain such sentiment in the following
circumstances:

(1) When the murder is committed in an extremely
brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting, or
dastardly manner so as to arouse intense and
extreme indignation of the community.
(2) When the murder is committed for a motive
which evinces total depravity and meanness; e.g.
murder by hired assassin for money or reward; or
cold-blooded murder for gains of a person vis-à-vis
whom the murderer is in a dominating position or
in a position of trust, or murder is committed in the
course for betrayal of the motherland.
(3) When murder of a member of a Scheduled
Caste or minority community etc., is committed not
19

for personal reasons but in circumstances which
arouse social wrath; or in cases of ‘bride burning’
or ‘dowry deaths’ or when murder is committed in
order to remarry for the sake of extracting dowry
once again or to marry another woman on account
of infatuation.

(4) When the crime is enormous in proportion. For
instance when multiple murders, say of all or
almost all the members of a family or a large
number of persons of a particular caste,
community, or locality, are committed.
(5) When the victim of murder is an innocent child,
or a helpless woman or old or infirm person or a
person vis-à-vis whom the murderer is in a
dominating position, or a public figure generally
loved and respected by the community.
If upon taking an overall global view of all the
circumstances in the light of the aforesaid
propositions and taking into account the answers
to the questions posed by way of the test for the
rarest of rare case, the circumstances of the case
are such that death sentence is warranted, the
court would proceed to do so.”

31. Considering the view expressed by this Court
in Bachan Singh case and Machhi Singh case we
have no hesitation in holding that the case at hand
falls in the rarest of rare category and death
sentence awarded by the trial court was
appropriate. The acquittal of the respondent-
accused is clearly unsustainable and is set aside.
In the ultimate result, the judgment of the High
Court is set aside and that of the trial court is
restored. The appeals are allowed.

38. In the instant case, the convict was depraved.
He took away the girl from the religious construction. The
convict stifled the victim by placing his hand on her
mouth when she was forcibly raped. The cause of the
death of victim is excessive pain leading to shock.

39. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(2008) 15 SCC 269 in the case of Shivaji @ Dadya
Shankar Alhat Vs. State of Maharashtra, have
20

explained the principles of proportionality, its object and
consideration. Their Lordships have also held as under: –

25. “9. The law regulates social interests,
arbitrates conflicting claims and demands.
Security of persons and property of the people is
an essential function of the State. It could be
achieved through instrumentality of criminal law.
Undoubtedly, there is a cross-cultural conflict
where living law must find answer to the new
challenges and the courts are required to mould
the sentencing system to meet the challenges. The
contagion of lawlessness would undermine social
order and lay it in ruins. Protection of society and
stamping out criminal proclivity must be the object
of law which must be achieved by imposing
appropriate sentence. Therefore, law as a
cornerstone of the edifice of ‘order’ should meet
the challenges confronting the society. Friedman in
his Law in Changing Society stated that: ‘State of
criminal law continues to be–as it should be–a
decisive reflection of social consciousness of
society.’ Therefore, in operating the sentencing
system, law should adopt the corrective machinery
or the deterrence based on factual matrix. By deft
modulation sentencing process be stern where it
should be, and tempered with mercy where it
warrants to be. The facts and given circumstances
in each case, the nature of the crime, the manner
in which it was planned and committed, the
motive for commission of the crime, the conduct of
the accused, the nature of weapons used and all
other attending circumstances are relevant facts
which would enter into the area of consideration.
For instance a murder committed due to deep-

seated mutual and personal rivalry may not call
for penalty of death. But an organised crime or
mass murders of innocent people would call for
imposition of death sentence as deterrence. In
Mahesh v. State of M.P., this Court while refusing
to reduce the death sentence observed thus: (SCC
p. 82, para 6)
‘[I]t will be a mockery of justice to permit
these appellants [the accused] to escape the
extreme penalty of law when faced with such
evidence and such cruel acts. To give the lesser
punishment for the accused would be to render
21

the justicing system of this country suspect. The
common man will lose faith in courts. In such
cases, he understands and appreciates the
language of deterrence more than the
reformative jargon.’

10. Therefore, undue sympathy to impose
inadequate sentence would do more harm to the
justice system to undermine the public
confidence in the efficacy of law and society
could not long endure under such serious
threats. It is, therefore, the duty of every court
to award proper sentence having regard to the
nature of the offence and the manner in which it
was executed or committed, etc. This position
was illuminatingly stated by this Court in
Sevaka Perumal v. State of T.N.

11. The criminal law adheres in general to the
principle of proportionality in prescribing
liability according to the culpability of each kind
of criminal conduct. It ordinarily allows some
significant discretion to the Judge in arriving at
a sentence in each case, presumably to permit
sentences that reflect more subtle
considerations of culpability that are raised by
the special facts of each case. Judges in
essence affirm that punishment ought always to
fit the crime; yet in practice sentences are
determined largely by other considerations.
Sometimes it is the correctional needs of the
perpetrator that are offered to justify a
sentence. Sometimes the desirability of keeping
him out of circulation, and sometimes even the
tragic results of his crime. Inevitably these
considerations cause a departure from just
desert as the basis of punishment and create
cases of apparent injustice that are serious and
widespread.

12. Proportion between crime and punishment
is a goal respected in principle, and in spite of
errant notions, it remains a strong influence in
the determination of sentences. The practice of
punishing all serious crimes with equal severity
is now unknown in civilised societies, but such
a radical departure from the principle of
proportionality has disappeared from the law
only in recent times. Even now for a single
grave infraction drastic sentences are imposed.

22

Anything less than a penalty of greatest
severity for any serious crime is thought then to
be a measure of toleration that is unwarranted
and unwise. But in fact, quite apart from those
considerations that make punishment
unjustifiable when it is out of proportion to the
crime, uniformly disproportionate punishment
has some very undesirable practical
consequences.

13. After giving due consideration to the facts
and circumstances of each case, for deciding
just and appropriate sentence to be awarded
for an offence, the aggravating and mitigating
factors and circumstances in which a crime has
been committed are to be delicately balanced on
the basis of really relevant circumstances in a
dispassionate manner by the court. Such act of
balancing is indeed a difficult task. It has been
very aptly indicated in Dennis Councle
McGautha v. State of California: that no formula
of a foolproof nature is possible that would
provide a reasonable criterion in determining a
just and appropriate punishment in the infinite
variety of circumstances that may affect the
gravity of the crime. In the absence of any
foolproof formula which may provide any basis
for reasonable criteria to correctly assess
various circumstances germane to the
consideration of gravity of crime, the
discretionary judgment in the facts of each
case, is the only way in which such judgment
may be equitably distinguished.

14. In Jashubha Bharatsinh Gohil v. State of
Gujarat it has been held by this Court that in
the matter of death sentence, the courts are
required to answer new challenges and mould
the sentencing system to meet these challenges.
The object should be to protect the society and
to deter the criminal in achieving the avowed
object of law by imposing appropriate sentence.
It is expected that the courts would operate the
sentencing system so as to impose such
sentence which reflects the conscience of the
society and the sentencing process has to be
stern where it should be. Even though the
principles were indicated in the background of
death sentence and life sentence, the logic
23

applies to all cases where appropriate sentence
is the issue.

15. Imposition of sentence without considering
its effect on the social order in many cases may
be in reality a futile exercise. The social impact
of the crime e.g. where it relates to offences
against women, dacoity, kidnapping,
misappropriation of public money, treason and
other offences involving moral turpitude or
moral delinquency which have great impact on
social order, and public interest, cannot be lost
sight of and per se require exemplary treatment.
Any liberal attitude by imposing meagre
sentences or taking too sympathetic view
merely on account of lapse of time in respect of
such offences will be resultwise
counterproductive in the long run and against
societal interest which needs to be cared for
and strengthened by string of deterrence inbuilt
in the sentencing system.

16. In Dhananjoy Chatterjee v. State of W.B.
this Court has observed that a shockingly large
number of criminals go unpunished thereby
increasingly encouraging the criminals and in
the ultimate, making justice suffer by
weakening the system’s creditability. The
imposition of appropriate punishment is the
manner in which the court responds to the
society’s cry for justice against the criminal.
Justice demands that courts should impose
punishment befitting the crime so that the
courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime.
The court must not only keep in view the rights
of the criminal but also the rights of the victim of
the crime and the society at large while
considering the imposition of appropriate
punishment.

17. Similar view has also been expressed in
Ravji v. State of Rajasthan. It has been held in
the said case that it is the nature and gravity of
the crime but not the criminal, which are
germane for consideration of appropriate
punishment in a criminal trial. The court will be
failing in its duty if appropriate punishment is
not awarded for a crime which has been
committed not only against the individual victim
but also against the society to which the
24

criminal and victim belong. The punishment to
be awarded for a crime must not be irrelevant
but it should conform to and be consistent with
the atrocity and brutality with which the crime
has been perpetrated, the enormity of the crime
warranting public abhorrence and it should
‘respond to the society’s cry for justice against
the criminal’. If for extremely heinous crime of
murder perpetrated in a very brutal manner
without any provocation, most deterrent
punishment is not given, the case of deterrent
punishment will lose its relevance.”
These aspects have been elaborated in State of
M.P. v. Munna Choubey, SCC pp. 714-17, paras
9-17.

26. “5. In Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab a
Constitution Bench of this Court at para 132
summed up the position as follows: (SCC p.

729)
‘132. To sum up, the question whether or not
death penalty serves any penological purpose is
a difficult, complex and intractable issue. It has
evoked strong, divergent views. For the purpose
of testing the constitutionality of the impugned
provision as to death penalty in Section 302,
Penal Code on the ground of reasonableness in
the light of Articles 19 and 21 of the
Constitution, it is not necessary for us to
express any categorical opinion, one way or the
other, as to which of these two antithetical
views, held by the Abolitionists and
Retentionists, is correct. It is sufficient to say
that the very fact that persons of reason,
learning and light are rationally and deeply
divided in their opinion on this issue, is a
ground among others, for rejecting the
petitioners’ argument that retention of death
penalty in the impugned provision, is totally
devoid of reason and purpose. If,
notwithstanding the view of the Abolitionists to
the contrary, a very large segment of people, the
world over, including sociologists, legislators,
jurists, judges and administrators still firmly
believe in the worth and necessity of capital
punishment for the protection of society, if in the
perspective of prevailing crime conditions in
India, contemporary public opinion channelised
25

through the people’s representatives in
Parliament, has repeatedly in the last three
decades, rejected all attempts, including the one
made recently, to abolish or specifically restrict
the area of death penalty, if death penalty is
still a recognised legal sanction for murder or
some types of murder in most of the civilised
countries in the world, if the framers of the
Indian Constitution were fully aware–as we
shall presently show they were–of the
existence of death penalty as punishment for
murder, under the Penal Code, if the thirty-fifth
Report and subsequent reports of the Law
Commission suggesting retention of death
penalty, and recommending revision of the
Criminal Procedure Code and the insertion of
the new Sections 235(2) and 354(3) in that Code
providing for pre-sentence hearing and
sentencing procedure on conviction for murder
and other capital offences were before
Parliament and presumably considered by it
when in 1972-1973 it took up revision of the
Code of 1898 and replaced it by the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973, it is not possible to
hold that the provision of death penalty as an
alternative punishment for murder, in Section
302, Penal Code is unreasonable and not in the
public interest. We would, therefore, conclude
that the impugned provision in Section 302,
violates neither the letter nor the ethos of Article

19.”

6. Similarly, in Machhi Singh v. State of
Punjab30 in para 38 the position was summed
up as follows: (SCC p. 489)
’38. In this background the guidelines
indicated in Bachan Singh case will have to be
culled out and applied to the facts of each
individual case where the question of imposing
of death sentence arises. The following
propositions emerge from Bachan Singh case:

(i) The extreme penalty of death need not
be inflicted except in gravest cases of
extreme culpability.

(ii) Before opting for the death penalty the
circumstances of the “offender” also require
to be taken into consideration along with the
circumstances of the “crime”.

26

(iii) Life imprisonment is the rule and death
sentence is an exception. In other words
death sentence must be imposed only when
life imprisonment appears to be an altogether
inadequate punishment having regard to the
relevant circumstances of the crime, and
provided, and only provided, the option to
impose sentence of imprisonment for life
cannot be conscientiously exercised having
regard to the nature and circumstances of
the crime and all the relevant circumstances.

(iv) A 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 the mitigating
circumstances before the option is exercised.’

7. The position was again reiterated in
Devender Pal Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi:
(SCC p. 271, para 58)
’58. From Bachan Singh case and Machhi
Singh case the principle culled out is that when
the collective conscience of the community is so
shocked, that it will expect the holders of the
judicial power centre to inflict death penalty
irrespective of their personal opinion as regards
desirability or otherwise of retaining death
penalty, the same can be awarded. It was
observed:

The community may entertain such sentiment in
the following circumstances:

(1) When the murder is committed in an
extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical,
revolting, or dastardly manner so as to arouse
intense and extreme indignation of the
community.

(2) When the murder is committed for a motive
which evinces total depravity and meanness;
e.g. murder by hired assassin for money or
reward; or cold-blooded murder for gains of a
person vis-à-vis whom the murderer is in a
dominating position or in a position of trust; or
murder is committed in the course for betrayal
of the motherland.

27

(3) When murder of a member of a Scheduled
Caste or minority community, etc. is committed
not for personal reasons but in circumstances
which arouse social wrath; or in cases of “bride
burning” or “dowry deaths” or when murder is
committed in order to remarry for the sake of
extracting dowry once again or to marry
another woman on account of infatuation.
(4) When the crime is enormous in proportion.
For instance when multiple murders, say of all
or almost all the members of a family or a large
number of persons of a particular caste,
community, or locality, are committed.
(5) When the victim of murder is an innocent
child, or a helpless woman or old or infirm
person or a person vis-à-vis whom the murderer
is in a dominating position, or a public figure
generally loved and respected by the
community.’
If upon taking an overall global view of all
the circumstances in the light of the aforesaid
propositions and taking into account the
answers to the questions posed by way of
the test for the rarest of rare cases, the
circumstances of the case are such that
death sentence is warranted, the court would
proceed to do so.

8. What is culled out from the decisions noted
above is that while deciding the question as to
whether the extreme penalty of death sentence
is to be awarded, a balance sheet of
aggravating and mitigating circumstances has
to be drawn up.”**

27. The plea that in a case of circumstantial
evidence death should not be awarded is
without any logic. If the circumstantial evidence
is found to be of unimpeachable character in
establishing the guilt of the accused, that forms
the foundation for conviction. That has nothing
to do with the question of sentence as has been
observed by this Court in various cases while
awarding death sentence. The mitigating
circumstances and the aggravating
circumstances have to be balanced. In the
balance sheet of such circumstances, the fact
that the case rests on circumstantial evidence
28

has no role to play. In fact in most of the cases
where death sentences are awarded for rape
and murder and the like, there is practically no
scope for having an eyewitness. They are not
committed in the public view. But the very
nature of things in such cases, the available
evidence is circumstantial evidence. If the said
evidence has been found to be credible, cogent
and trustworthy for the purpose of recording
conviction, to treat that evidence as a mitigating
circumstance, would amount to consideration of
an irrelevant aspect. The plea of the learned
amicus curiae that the conviction is based on
circumstantial evidence and, therefore, the
death sentence should not be awarded is
clearly unsustainable.

28. The case at hand falls in the rarest of the
rare category. The circumstances highlighted
above establish the depraved acts of the
accused, and they call for only one sentence,
that is, death sentence.

29. Looked at from any angle, the judgment of
the High Court, confirming the conviction and
sentence imposed by the trial court, does not
warrant any interference.

40. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(2010) 9 SCC 567 in the case of C. Muniappan and
others Vs. State of Tamil Nadu along with connected
appeal, have laid down the social effect of punishment
and proportional considerations, when the principle of
rarest of rare rule is to be applied. Their Lordships have
further held that death sentence can be given in rarest of
rare cases if the “collective conscience” of a community is
so shocked that death penalty is the only alternative. The
“rarest of the rare case” comes when the convict would be
a menace and threat to the harmonious and peaceful
coexistence of the society. Their Lordships have also held
as under :-

“87. In Machhi Singh v. State of Punjab this
Court expanded the “rarest of rare” formulation
29

beyond the aggravating factors listed in Bachan
Singh to cases where the “collective conscience”
of a community is so shocked that it will expect
the holders of the judicial powers to inflict the
death penalty irrespective of their personal
opinion as regards desirability or otherwise of
retaining the death penalty, and stated that in
these cases such a penalty should be inflicted.
But the Bench in this case underlined that full
weightage must be accorded to the mitigating
circumstances in a case and a just balance had
to be struck between aggravating and
mitigating circumstances. The Court further held
that the relevant factors to be taken into
consideration may be motive for, or the manner
of commission of the crime, or the anti-social or
abhorrent nature of the crime, such as:

(i) Murder is in extremely brutal manner so as to
arouse intense and extreme indignation of the
community.

(ii) Murder of a large number of persons of a
particular caste, community, or locality, is
committed.

(iii) Murder of an innocent child; a helpless woman,
is committed.

91. Thus, it is evident that criminal law requires
strict adherence to the rule of proportionality in
providing punishment according to the culpability
of each kind of criminal conduct keeping in mind
the effect of not awarding just punishment on the
society. The “rarest of the rare case” comes when
a convict would be a menace and threat to the
harmonious and peaceful coexistence of the
society. Where an accused does not act on any
spur of the moment provocation and he indulged
himself in a deliberately planned crime and
meticulously executed it, the death sentence may
be the most appropriate punishment for such a
ghastly crime.

92. Life imprisonment is the rule and death
penalty an exception. Therefore, the court must
satisfy itself that death penalty would be the only
punishment which can be meted out to a convict.
The court has to consider whether any other
punishment would be completely inadequate and
what would be the mitigating and aggravating
circumstances in the case. Murder is always foul,
30

however, the degree of brutality, depravity and
diabolic nature differ in each case. Circumstances
under which murders take place also differ from
case to case and there cannot be a straitjacket
formula for deciding upon circumstances under
which death penalty must be awarded. In such
matters, it is not only the nature of crime, but the
background of criminal, his psychology, his social
conditions, his mindset for committing offence and
effect of imposing alternative punishment on the
society are also relevant factors.”

41. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(2011) 2 SCC 490 in the case of Rabindra Kumar Pal @
Dara Singh Vs. Republic of India, have explained the
principles for imposition of death sentence, broadly
restated. Their Lordships have also held as under :-

“90. Though the trial court awarded death
sentence for Dara Singh, the High Court after
considering the entire materials and finding
that it is not a rarest of the rare case, commuted
the death sentence into life imprisonment. The
principles with regard to awarding punishment
of death have been well settled by judgments of
this Court in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab,
Machhi Singh v. State of Punjab and Kehar
Singh v. State (Delhi Admn.). It is clear from the
above decisions that on conviction under
Section 302 IPC, the normal rule is to award
punishment of life imprisonment and the
punishment of death should be resorted to only
for the rarest of rare cases.

91***. Whether a case falls within the rarest of
the rare case or not, has to be examined with
reference to the facts and circumstances of each
case and the court has to take note of the
aggravating as well as mitigating circumstances
and conclude whether there was something
uncommon about the crime which renders the
sentence of imprisonment for life inadequate
and calls for death sentence. However, more
than 12 years have elapsed since the act was
committed, we are of the opinion that the life
sentence awarded by the High Court need not
31

be enhanced in view of the factual position
discussed in the earlier paras.

42. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(2011) 5 SCC 317 in the case of Mohd. Mannan @
Abdul Mannan Vs. State of Bihar, have discussed the
broad guidelines for imposition of death penalty. Their
Lordships have also held as under :-

“23. It is trite that death sentence can be inflicted
only in a case which comes within the category of
the rarest of rare cases but there is no hard-and-
fast rule and parameter to decide this vexed issue.
This Court had the occasion to consider the cases
which can be termed as the rarest of rare cases
and although certain comprehensive guidelines
have been laid to adjudge this issue but no hard-
and-fast formula of universal application has been
laid down in this regard. Crimes are committed in
so different and distinct circumstances that it is
impossible to lay down comprehensive guidelines
to decide this issue. Nevertheless it is widely
accepted that in deciding this question the number
of persons killed is not decisive.

24*. Further, crime being brutal and heinous itself
does not turn the scale towards the death
sentence. When the crime is committed in an
extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting or
dastardly manner so as to arouse intense and
extreme indignation of the community and when
collective conscience of the community is petrified,
one has to lean towards the death sentence. But
this is not the end. If these factors are present the
court has to see as to whether the accused is a
menace to the society and would continue to be so,
threatening its peaceful and harmonious
coexistence. The court has to further enquire and
believe that the accused condemned cannot be
reformed or rehabilitated and shall continue with
the criminal acts. In this way a balance sheet is to
be prepared while considering the imposition of
penalty of death of aggravating and mitigating
circumstances and a just balance is to be struck.

So long the death sentence is provided in the
statute and when collective conscience of the
community is petrified, it is expected that the
32

holders of judicial power do not stammer dehors
their personal opinion and inflict death penalty.
These are the broad guidelines which this Court
has laid down for imposition of the death penalty.

25. When we test the present case bearing in
mind what has been observed, we are of the
opinion that the case in hand falls in the category
of the rarest of rare cases. The appellant is a
matured man aged about 43 years. He held a
position of trust and misused the same in a
calculated and pre-planned manner. He sent the
girl aged about 7 years to buy betel and few
minutes thereafter in order to execute his
diabolical and grotesque desire proceeded
towards the shop where she was sent. The girl
was aged about 7 years of thin built and 4 ft of
height and such a child was incapable of arousing
lust in normal situation. The appellant had won
the trust of the child and she did not understand
the desire of the appellant which would be evident
from the fact that while she was being taken
away by the appellant no protest was made and
the innocent child was made prey of the
appellant’s lust.

26. The post-mortem report shows various injuries
on the face, nails and body of the child. These
injuries show the gruesome manner in which she
was subjected to rape. The victim of crime is an
innocent child who did not provide even an excuse,
much less a provocation for murder. Such cruelty
towards a young child is appalling. The appellant
had stooped so low as to unleash his monstrous
self on the innocent, helpless and defenceless
child. This act no doubt had invited extreme
indignation of the community and shocked the
collective conscience of the society. Their
expectation from the authority conferred with the
power to adjudicate is to inflict the death sentence
which is natural and logical. We are of the opinion
that the appellant is a menace to the society and
shall continue to be so and he cannot be reformed.
We have no manner of doubt that the case in hand
falls in the category of the rarest of rare cases and
the trial court had correctly inflicted the death
sentence which had rightly been confirmed by the
High Court.

33

43. In the instant case, the convict is a menace to
the society and he shall continue to be so and he cannot
be reformed. The convict had stooped so low as to
unleash his monstrous self on the innocent, helpless and
defenceless child.

44. Their Lordships of Hon’ble Supreme Court in
(2015) 1 SCC 253 in the case of Vasanta Sampat
Dupare Vs. State of Maharashtra, have upheld the
death sentence imposed upon the appellant. It was the
case of rape and murder of four years girl. Their
Lordships have also held as under :-

“57. Keeping in view the aforesaid authorities,
we shall proceed to adumbrate what is the duty
of the Court when the collective conscience is
shocked because of the crime committed. When
the crime is diabolical in nature and invites
abhorrence of the collective, it shocks the
judicial conscience and impels it to react
keeping in view the collective conscience, cry of
the community for justice and the intense
indignation at the manner in which the brutal
crime is committed. We are absolutely conscious
that Judges while imposing sentence, should
never be swayed away by any kind of
individual philosophy and predilections. It
should never have the flavour of Judge-centric
attitude or perception. It has to satisfy the test
laid down in various precedents relating to the
rarest of the rare case. We are also required to
pose two questions that have been stated in
Machhi Singh case.

58. Presently, we shall proceed to dwell upon
the manner in which the crime was committed.

Materials on record clearly reveal that the
appellant was well acquainted with the
inhabitants of the locality and as is
demonstrable he had access to the house of the
father of the deceased and the children used to
call him “uncle”. He had lured the deceased to
go with him to have chocolates. It is an act of
taking advantage of absolute innocence. He had
34

taken the deceased from place to place by his
bicycle and eventually raped her in a brutal
manner, as if he had an insatiable and
ravenous appetite. The injuries caused on the
minor girl are likely to send a chill in the spine
of the society and shiver in the marrows of
human conscience. He had battered her to
death by assaulting her with two heavy stones.
The injured minor girl could not have shown
any kind of resistance. It is not a case where
the accused had a momentary lapse. It is also
not a case where the minor child had died
because of profuse bleeding due to rape but
because of the deliberate cruel assault by the
appellant. After the savage act was over, the
coolness of the appellant is evident, for he
washed the clothes on the tap and took proper
care to hide things. As is manifest, he even did
not think for a moment the trauma and torture
that was caused to the deceased. The gullibility
and vulnerability of the four year girl, who could
not have nurtured any idea about the
maladroitly designed biological desires of this
nature, went with the uncle who extinguished
her life-spark. The barbaric act of the appellant
does not remotely show any concern for the
precious life of a young minor child who had
really not seen life. The criminality of the
conduct of the appellant is not only depraved
and debased, but can have a menacing effect
on the society. It is calamitous.

60. In the case at hand, as we find, not only
was the rape committed in a brutal manner but
murder was also committed in a barbaric
manner. The rape of a minor girl child 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 society and such a
crime is aggravated by the manner in which it
has been committed. The nature of the crime
and the manner in which it has been committed
speaks about its uncommonness. The crime
speaks of depravity, degradation and
uncommonality. It is diabolical and barbaric.
The crime was committed in an inhuman
manner. Indubitably, these go a long way to
establish the aggravating circumstances.

35

62. As we perceive, this case deserves to fall in
the category of the rarest of rare cases. It is
inconceivable from the perspective of the society
that a married man aged about two scores and
seven makes a four-year minor innocent girl
child the prey of his lust and deliberately
causes her death. A helpless and defenceless
child gets raped and murdered because of the
acquaintance of the appellant with the people of
the society. This is not only betrayal of an
individual trust but destruction and devastation
of social trust. It is perversity in its enormity. It
irrefragably invites the extreme abhorrence and
indignation of the collective. It is an anathema
to the social balance. In our view, it meets the
test of the rarest of the rare case and we
unhesitatingly so hold.

63. Consequently, we dismiss the criminal
appeals preferred by the appellant and affirm
the death sentence.

45. Consequently, in view of the observations and
discussion made hereinabove, this Court finds that
prosecution has proved its case against the appellant
beyond any reasonable doubt. Learned Trial Court has
correctly appreciated the evidence. There is no occasion
for us to interfere with the well reasoned judgment and
order dated 05.04.2016 and 06.04.2016 rendered by
learned Additional Sessions Judge/FTC/Special POCSO
Judge, Rudrapur, District Udham Singh Nagar in Special
Sessions Trial No. 159 of 2016.

46. Accordingly, the Criminal Appeal No.No.156 of
2017 is dismissed being devoid of merits.

47. Consequently, the death sentenced imposed
upon the convict is confirmed. Criminal Reference No.01
of 2017 is answered accordingly.

36

48. However, before parting with the judgment, it
would be pertinent to take note of ever increasing crime
against the children in the State of Uttarakhand.

49. According to the report of National Crime
Records Bureau under the caption “Crime Against
Children (States UTs)” for the year 2016, 489 cases
were registered in the year 2014, 635 cases were
registered in the year 2015 and 676 cases were registered
in the year 2016. Thus, there is an increase in the crime
against children.

50. There were 436 cases of kidnapping and
abduction in the year 2016. 218 cases were registered in
the year 2016 under Protection of Children from Sexual
Offences Act. 91 cases of child rape under Sections 4 and
6 of POCSO Act/Section 379 IPC were registered in the
year 2016 and 35 cases of sexual assault of children
under Sections 8 10 of POCSO Act/ Section 354 IPC
were registered. 3 cases of Sexual Harassment under
Section 12 of POCSO Act/ Section 509 of IPC were
registered. The ratio of cases registered under Sections 4
and 6 of POCSO Act/ Section 376 IPC is disproportionate
large vis-à-vis the population of State of Uttarakhand.

51. The Court is coming across a number of cases
where the victims, aged 15 years or below, are being
raped and murdered. There should be deterrence.
Though, it is for the State Government to bring an
appropriate legislation to impose death sentence upon
the convicts who are found guilty in cases of rape,
however, the Court can always make suggestions/
recommendations to the State Government to bring a
37

suitable Legislation to impose a stringent sentence upon
the persons who are found guilty in the cases of
committing rape on the victims aged 15 years or below.
Accordingly, we recommend/suggest to the State
Government to enact suitable legislation for awarding
death sentence to those found guilty of raping girls aged
15 years or below within three months.

52. Let a certified copy of this judgment with lower
court record be sent to the learned trial court forthwith to
proceed with the matter in accordance with law.

53. The Court places on record its appreciation for
the valuable assistance rendered by Mr. Amit Bhatt,
Deputy Advocate General and Mr. B.N. Molakhi,
Advocate.

54. Copy of this order shall be sent to the Chief
Secretary and concerned Principal Secretary, Home,
Government of Uttarakhand for compliance.

(Alok Singh, J.) (Rajiv Sharma, J.)
JKJ 05.01.2018

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