SC stays death sentence of co-convict in minor’s rape-murder case

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Madhya Pradesh High Court order pronouncing the death sentence for a person convicted along with an accomplice of the kidnapping, gang rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl.

Staying the death sentence, a vacation bench of Justice L. Nagaswara Rao and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar sought the state’s response to convict Santosh’s plea that challenged the High Court order to uphold his conviction and award of death sentence by a trial court.

“There shall be a stay on the execution of the death sentence… let the original record be called from the trial court.”

The apex court had earlier stayed the death sentence of co-accused Baghwani.

Lawyer Joel and Ninni Susan Thomas had appeared for petitioner Satish.

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The High Court, by its May 9 judgment, upheld the conviction and death sentence to Baghwani and Satish and said that “the only punishment which the accused deserve for committing reprehensible and gruesome murder of an innocent child to satisfy their lust is nothing but death”.

Both convicts had kidnapped the girl on the night of April 14-15, 2017, gang-raped her and strangled her.

The High Court noted that the half-naked body of the girl was dumped near a road, in total disregard to decency and respect for the dead.

The High Court also noted that the “deceased was an innocent child, who could not have provided any excuse, much less any provocation, for committing such heinous act…”

It further noted that the accused showed “lack of any remorse, as after committing the crime they acted normal” and asked for liquor from one Jaipal.

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“We are immensely appalled by the alarming increase in the incidents of child rapes and also being aware of the rising anger of society over rape of minors across the country. Therefore, we consider death sentence as a measure of social necessity and also a mean of deterring other potential offenders,” the High Court said.



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