INDIA: HC COMMUTES DEATH PENALTY OF MAN WHO KILLED PREGNANT WIFE
June 26, 2012: The Bombay High Court set aside the death sentence awarded by a Kolhapur trial court to a man, who killed his pregnant wife and tried to kill his two children, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Ramesh Randiwe had killed his pregnant wife, attempted to kill his son and caused injuries to his daughter in August 2008.
According to prosecution, while Ramesh wanted a third child, his wife Ashwini was not ready for it.
Arguing before a Division Bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode, the lawyer for the accused B P Jakhade contended that the case of the prosecution rested mainly on a child witness â€” the daughter. Jakhade claimed the death of the wife was accidental. The court, however, refused to accept these arguments.
However, giving their decision on the sentence that should be awarded to the accused, the Bench said: â€śThe present case cannot be said to be of a rarest of rare nature, warranting the extreme penalty of death.â€ť
Taking a humanitarian view, the court also said that awarding a death sentence would deprive the children of both their parents. The judges instead sentenced Randiwe to imprisonment for life with a direction not to release him till he completes actual term of 18 years in prison.
The court also noted that the act was not committed by the accused for any material gain and concluded that the murder was not pre-planned but committed in the spur of the moment.
The order also noted that merely the number of persons who were killed or assaulted does not make a case liable for death penalty. (Sources: indianexpress.com, 27/07/2012)