The Supreme Court on Friday confirmed the death sentence awarded to a man by the Rajasthan High Court in May 2015 for kidnapping, brutally raping and murdering a mentally and physically challenged girl on January 17, 2013. The apex court said the punishment is apt for such a “crime of extreme depravity”. The accused, Manoj Pratap Singh, had moved the apex court challenging the high court judgment.
In a judgment on Friday, a three-judge Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar said, “The crime… shocks the conscience, particularly looking at the target (a seven-and-a-half-year-old mentally and physically challenged girl) and then, looking to the manner of committing murder, where the hapless victim’s head was literally smashed.”
The 129-page judgment written by Justice Maheshwari on behalf of the Bench says, “In the present case, where all the elements surrounding the offence, as also all the elements surrounding the offender, cut across the balance sheet of aggravating and mitigating circumstances, we are clearly of the view that there is absolutely no reason to commute the sentence of death to any other sentence of lesser degree.”
The bench observed that even the alternative of awarding the sentence of imprisonment for the whole of the natural life, with no remission, does not appear justified in view of the nature of crimes committed by the appellant and looking to his incorrigible conduct.