The present instance can be compared to the milestone case Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab. Both have almost similar facts.
In Bachan Singh, the only question for consideration in the special leave appeal was, whether the facts found by the courts below would be "special reasons" for awarding the death sentence as required under Section 354(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The Apex court gave that Judges should never be bloodthirsty. Hanging of murders has never been too good for them. Facts and figures, albeit incomplete, furnished by the Union of India, show that in the past, courts have inflicted the extreme penalty with extreme infrequency - a fact which attest to the caution and compassion which they have always brought to bear on the exercise of their sentencing discretion in so grave a matter. It is, therefore, imperative to voice the concern that courts, aided by the broad illustrative guidelines indicated by us, will discharge the onerous function with evermore scrupulous care and humane concern, directed along the highroad of legislative policy outlined in Section 354(3), viz., that for persons convicted of murder, life imprisonment is the rule and death sentence an exception. A real and abiding concern for the dignity of human life postulates resistance to taking a life through law's instrumentality. That ought not to be done save in the rarest of rare cases when the alternative option is unquestionably foreclosed.
To decide whether a case falls under the category of rarest of rare case r not was completely left upon the court’s discretion.However the apex court laid down a few principles which were to be kept in mind while deciding the question of sentence.One of the very important principles is regarding aggravating and mitigating circumstances.While deciding such a question, a balance of aggravating and mitigating circumstances in that particular case has to be drawn.Full weightage should be given to the mitigating circumstances and even after that if the court feels that justice will not be done if any punishment less than the death sentence is awarded, then only death sentence should be imposed.
Here in the instant case the aggravating circumstances are the brutal rape and murder.The mitigating circumstances being no previous criminal record of the accused and he is a social worker. Anti-social or socially abhorrent nature of crime takes away the defense of no previous criminal record and that he is a social worker.Even though his intention was not to do murder, his heinous lust made him a beast and he raped and killed the helpless girl.
In Laxman Naik v. State of Orissa (1994) 3 SCC 381 : 1994 SCC (Cri) 656 on the day of occurrence of rape and murder, the appellant, his niece and his mother had gone to a
neighbouring village to attend a funeral ceremony. In the afternoon when all relatives were busy in the observance of the ceremony, the appellant commanded the deceased, his seven-year-old niece to accompany him back to their village and the deceased followed her. The appellant reached alone to his house and on being asked by elder brother, the father of the deceased, he told that the mother and the deceased were in neighbouring village. The next day the deceased was found lying in a lonely place in a jungle in revealing circumstances. As it was a rape and murder, the trial court found the case as falling within the category of rarest of rare cases and held him to be guilty under Sections 376 and 302 IPC. The punishment inflicted was death penalty, which was also confirmed by the High Court. The Supreme Court held that extreme penalty could be inflicted only in the gravest cases of extreme culpability. Dismissing the appeal and confirmingdeath sentence, the Court emphasised that the facts of the case disclosed only aggravating circumstances and absolutely no mitigating circumstance.
In the present instance also the mitigating circumstances seems to be unconvincing and feeble, all incriminating facts appears to be incompatible with the innocence of the accused
Again in Sushil Murmu Vs. State of Jharkhand The court explained the principle:- "In rarest of rare cases, when the collective conscience of the community is so shocked that it will expect the holders of the judicial power center to inflict death penalty irrespective of their personal opinion as regards desirability or otherwise of retaining death penalty, death sentence can be awarded."
In State of U.P. v. Satish (2005) 3 SCC 114 : 2005 SCC (Cri) 642 one Vishakha aged about six years was raped and murdered by the bestial acts of Satish, the accused. On 16-8-2001, the victim who was studying in Sarvodaya Public School had gone to school but did not return at
the usual time. On the next morning her dead body was found in sugarcane field. She was lying in a dead condition and blood was oozing from her private parts. The trial court found that circumstances were sufficient to hold the accused guilty and convicted him under Sections 363, 366, 376(2), 302 and 201 of the Penal Code, 1860. Since, the crime fell in the category of the rarest of rare cases, death sentence was imposed and the same was confirmed by the SC
Also in the present instance considering the motivation of the perpetrator, the vulnerability of the victim, the enormity of the crime and purposes of punishment persuades to hold that the instance is one of a rarest of rare case where the sentence of death is eminently desirable not only to deter others from committing such atrocious crimes but also to give emphatic expression to society’s abhorrence of such crimes