“Hope for Reformation and Rehabilitation”: The Supreme Court commutes a man’s death sentence for rape and murder of a five-year-old girl

In the court of Law, Justice L. Nageshwara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai observed that, “The life imprisonment for the criminal will be sufficient and it will help him to recall his mistakes. And there is also a hope for rehabilitation as well as reformation”.

The court, on the other hand, ordered that the accused not be eligible for early release/remission until he has served at least thirty years in jail.

The foolish work done by the criminal named as Irappa Siddappa Murgannavar is now in the jail. He raped a five year girl. Apart from this he killed her by strangulation. He feels that it was not sufficient, then after covering her body in a gunny bag, he disposed her body in the stream, which was named as Bennihalla.

The three-fold circumstances of the case are:

1) On 28th of the December 2010 he kidnapped the girl.

2) It was found that he was carrying a gunny bag in the bank of stream named as Bennihalla.

3) On 1st of January 2011 the body was recovered from a gunny bag in the Bennihalla stream.

After noticing issues, the trial court came to the conclusion that, he(accused) is subjected to death. While Karnataka High Court ordered the same.

The accused’s conviction was upheld by the Apex Court on appeal. The facts relied on are fully established; they are conclusive in nature and tendency; the chain of evidence is so complete as to leave no reasonable ground for conclusion consistent with the appellant’s innocence; the facts established are consistent only with the hypothesis of the accused’s guilt and exclude all other hypotheses except the one proven. The court made the following observations in order to commute the sentence:

Above data shows that, the low age of the victim not be considered as a sufficient factor for imposing the punishment of death. They also notify the case Bantu alias Naresh Giri vs. State of Madhya Pradesh. In this case, the accused have committed the rape of 6 year old girl. As well as he committed murder. Where the court noticed that his act was heinous and it required condemnation. And it was not rarest of the rare case. As to require the elimination from the society. As well as there was also nothing on record that indicated the appellant’s criminal history or that he would pose a serious threat to society.

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