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