Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • The death penalty imposed on a 37-year-old man for the rape and murder of a seven and a half-year-old girl who was physically and mentally challenged was upheld by the Supreme Court on Friday.
  • Manoj Pratap Singh, the accused, was about 28 years old when the crime was committed in Rajasthan in 2013.
  • A three-judge bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and CT Ravikumar noted that the crime in question had been committed with "severe depravity," especially in light of the victim's vulnerability and the method used to commit the crime.
  • First, the court noticed that the defendant had a criminal history and had been engaged in at least 4 incidents involving theft, destruction of public properties and attempted murder. Additionally, a stolen motorcycle was used in the commission of the current crime.
  • The court also observed that the offender had already been found guilty of murdering one of his fellow inmates and had received a seven-day sentence for struggling with another prisoner.
  • Even further, the court held that the convict posed a "danger to the maintenance of order in the society."
  • According to the court, a life sentence for the rest of one's life without commutation was also not an option given the convict's "incorrigible conduct."
  • Even the alternative of giving the appellant a sentence of life in prison without parole does not seem justified in light of the nature of the crimes he committed and his unrepentant behaviour.
  • The bench stated that because it was inevitable in this particular case, it had "no choice but to confirm the death sentence handed to the appellant."
  • The victim was last seen with the appellant when he took her away, the victim's dead body and other items related to the crime were recovered at the appellant's request, the appellant failed to satisfactorily explain his whereabouts and his knowledge of the location of the dead body, and the medical and other scientific evidence was consistent with the prosecution case. These facts formed the basis of the prosecution's case. 
  • As a result, in the eyes of the prosecution, the sequence of events was complete and proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant was guilty, ruling out all alternative possibilities.
  • However, while failing to present any defending evidence, the appellant claimed that he had been wrongly accused.
  • In just a few short months, the case's investigation and trial had concluded. Within ten months following the crime, the trial court imposed the death punishment.


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