Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has quashed the death sentence awarded by a lower court against a 62-year-old accused, who is charged with raping a minor girl. The bench also ordered a fresh enquiry to be completed in a period of 6 months.
The divisional bench headed by Justice G Narender looking into the criminal appeal petition by the accused person Venkateshppa gave the order on Thursday.
The investigation officers have submitted the DNA report in connection with the case along with the charge sheet. However, there are doubts regarding the credibility of the test. The lower court has set aside the submission of the accused to conduct fresh blood and semen test, the bench observed.
The bench further stated that the lower court has said it was not required to call upon the experts who gave DNA report to the court and it was not judicious on part of the court to predetermine the evidence of DNA experts by not allowing them to record their statement in court.
The petitioner has also requested cross-examination of the DNA experts who gave the report. Hence, if experts who gave DNA reports are not to be cross-examined it is tantamount to denying judicious inquiry. The lower court has not substantiated the judgment while awarding the death sentence, the bench opined and set aside the order of capital punishment in the case. The bench also ordered a fresh enquiry of the case in a period of 6 months.
Venkateshappa was arrested by the Vemagal police in the Kolar district of Karnataka under POCSO Act Sections 4 and 6 and IPC Section 376 on May 5, 2018. The police submitted the charge sheet in the case and sent him to judicial custody. The District Court of Kolar awarded a death sentence to him on January 17, 2020.
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