Supreme Court Commutes Death Sentence Awarded To A Man For Rape And Murder Of 4 Year Old Girl In Seoni, Madhya Pradesh

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 20, 2022 07:37 PM +05:30 IST
Supreme Court Commutes Death Sentence Awarded To A Man For Rape And Murder Of 4 Year Old Girl In Seoni, Madhya Pradesh

The Supreme Court of India. (@OnuorahMichael5/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • The Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence awarded to a man accused of rape and murder of four year old girl in Madhya Pradesh.

    The bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi observed that the maximum punishment prescribed may not always be the always be the determinative factor for repairing the crippled psyche of the offender.

The Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence awarded to a man accused of rape and murder of four year old girl in Madhya Pradesh.

The bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi observed that the maximum punishment prescribed may not always be the always be the determinative factor for repairing the crippled psyche of the offender.

"One of the basic principles of restorative justice as developed by this Court over the years, also is to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused, and to become a socially useful individual, when he is released from the jail. The maximum punishment prescribed may not always be the determinative factor for repairing the crippled psyche of the offender." the court said in its judgement

"Hence, while balancing the scales of retributive justice and restorative justice, we deem it appropriate to impose upon the appellant-accused, the sentence of imprisonment for a period of twenty years instead of imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life for the offence undersection 376A, IPC." the court added.

The court also quoted Oscar Wilde in its judgement - “The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”.

Rape and murder case that shocked the nation

In April 2013, Firoz Khan (who was then 35-years old) and his accomplice Rakesh Chaudhary were arrested for raping a four-year old girl in a village in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, after which he dumped her at a farm.

The girl’s parents found her unconscious a day after the crime was committed and she was taken to Netaji Subhash Chandra Medical College and Hospital in Jabalpur. The girl was later taken to Nagpur by an air ambulance and admitted to Care Hospital in Ramdaspeth. However the girl passed away in the hospital

Firoz Khan, a welder working in a private power plant in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, was arrested from Hussainabad area of Bihar’s Bhagalpur district. The accused was apprehended by the police after monitoring his cellphone details.

While Firoz was charged for the offences under sections 363, 366, 376(2)(i),376(2)(m) and 302 of IPC and under section 5(i), 5(m) and Section 6 of the Protection of Children from the Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act), and the accused Rakesh Choudhary was charged for the offences under sections 363 and 366 r/w Section 34 and under Section 109 of IPC and under Section 16/17 of the POCSO Act.

In October 2013, Firoz Khan was awarded capital punishment by the district and sessions court in Seoni. Rakesh Chaudhary was also sentenced to life imprisonment.

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