INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR KIDNAPPING, MURDER OF MINOR COMMUTED
April 26, 2020:
The Supreme Court on 24 April 2020 commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence awarded to two men for murdering an eight-year-old son of a dentist couple in Nagpur in 2014 after kidnapping him for ransom. (Sources: PTI, 25/04/2020)
The apex court directed that there shall not be any remission till the convicts completes 25-year of imprisonment.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice U U Lalit delivered the verdict on the appeals filed by convicts Rajesh Daware and Arvind Singh who had challenged the May 2016 judgement of Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court which had confirmed the death sentence awarded to them by a trial court.
“The motive of the accused to take life was to become rich by not doing hard work but by demanding ransom after kidnapping a young, innocent boy of 8 years. Thus, having considered all the circumstances and facts on record, we are of the considered view that the present case falls short of the ‘rarest of rare’ cases where a death sentence alone deserves to be awarded to the appellants,” the bench, also comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Hemant Gupta, said.
The top court, which modified the sentence awarded to these convicts, upheld the verdicts of high court and trial court which had held them guilty of various offences under Indian Penal Code (IPC), including murder and kidnapping for ransom.
“However, the death sentence imposed by the trial court, confirmed by the high court, is converted into the life imprisonment,” it said.