INDIA: SC COMMUTES DEATH PENALTY OF MAN WHO RAPED, KILLED 3-YR-OLD GIRL
December 13, 2018:
The Supreme Court on 12 December 2018 commuted the death sentence awarded to a man for raping and murdering a three-year-old girl in 2007 and directed that he be not released from jail for the "rest of his normal life". (Sources: Press Trust of India, 12/12/2018)
A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur observed that the trial court, the Bombay High Court and also the apex court had earlier not taken into consideration the probability of reformation, rehabilitation and social re-integration of the convict into society while awarding him death penalty.
Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik was awarded death sentence by a trial court in Amravati in September 2008 for raping and murdering a minor girl in the intervening night of March 2-3, 2007.
While commuting the death sentence, the bench said the prosecution was "remiss in not producing the available DNA evidence and the failure to produce material evidence must lead to an adverse presumption against the prosecution and in favour of the appellant (Wasnik) for the purposes of sentencing".