Purushottam Dashrath Borate & Anr v. State of Maharashtra (2013) - Death Sentence for Gang Rape


Court :
Supreme Court of India

Brief :
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal & upheld the decision of the HC and held that “the heinous offence of gang-rape of an innocent and helpless young woman by those in whom she had reposed trust, followed by a cold-blooded murder and calculated attempt of cover-up is one such instance of a crime which shocks and repulses the collective conscience of the community and the court.

Citation :
Criminal Appeal No. 1439 of 2013

  • Bench: H.L. Dattu, S.A. Bobde, Arun Mishra
  • Appellants: Purushottam Dashrath Borate & Anr
  • Respondents: State of Maharashtra

Issue:

When can the heinous crime of rape be awarded with the death penalty instead of life imprisonment?

Facts:

  • The deceased used to reside with her sister, brother-in-law and their minor son in a flat in Pune City and was serving night shift as an associate in the BPO Branch of Wipro Company in Pune.
  • The company had their own private cab service to transport its employees from residence to the workplace and back on their conclusion of shifts and a security guard was mandatorily deployed if a female employee is being transported.
  • On the fateful day, the accused no.1 and 2 arrived to pick the deceased to take her to the workplace and instead abducted her to a secluded spot.
  • She was gang raped, murdered by strangulating with her own dupatta, slashed her wrist with a blade, also smashed her head with a stone, stripped off her possessions, money and left the body.
  • The trial court held that the accused shall be awarded with death penalty.
  • The High Court also dismissed the appeal of the appellant on the same grounds and supported trial court’s decision.
  • Then, the appellant filed the appeal in the Supreme Court.

Appellant's contentions:

  • It was contended that death penalty should be scrapped and lighter punishment of life imprisonment shall be awarded.

Respondent's contentions:

  • The respondent supported the decision of HC contending that the offence committed is barbaric in nature and the heinous offence of rape shall be awarded with death penalty.

Judgement:

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal & upheld the decision of the HC and held that “the heinous offence of gang-rape of an innocent and helpless young woman by those in whom she had reposed trust, followed by a cold-blooded murder and calculated attempt of cover-up is one such instance of a crime which shocks and repulses the collective conscience of the community and the court. Therefore, in light of the aforesaid settled principle, this Court has no hesitation in holding that this case falls within the category of “rarest of rare”, which merits death penalty and none other. The collective conscience of the community is so shocked by this crime that imposing alternate sentence, i.e. a sentence of life imprisonment on the accused persons would not meet the ends of justice. Rather, it would tempt other potential offenders to commit such crime and get away with the lesser/lighter punishment of life imprisonment.

In the result, after having critically appreciated the entire evidence on record as well as the judgments of the Courts below in great detail, we are in agreement with the reasons recorded by the trial court and approved by the High Court while awarding and confirming the death sentence of the accused-appellants. In our considered view, the judgment and order passed by the Courts below does not suffer from any error whatsoever.”

-Para 16 (Purushottam Dashrath Borate & Anr vs State of Maharashtra)

 

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RITUPORNA GUPTA
on 28 October 2020
Published in Criminal Law
Views : 162


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