Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court while affirming the death sentence to five men, convicted in an honour killing case, said the accused wanted to set an example for the society as to what happens to a person belonging to a lower caste falling in love with a higher caste girl. The HC also said that the ‘collective conscience’ of the society was shaken after the incident.

A bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Sandeep Shinde also emphasised that the courts must be giving out punishments befitting the crime.

The bench had on Monday pronounced the judgment by which it upheld the death sentence of Ragunath Darandale, Prakash Darandale, Ramesh Darandale, Ganesh Darandale and Sandeep Kurhe. The bench also acquitted one of the accused, Ashok Navgire.

The accused had killed – Sachin Gharu, Sandeep Dnanware and Tilak Kandare – as Sachin had a love affair with the Darandale family’s daughter. The family objected to the relationship as Sachin was a sweeper and belonged to a lower caste.

Accordingly, the accused called Sachin on pretext of cleaning their septic tank and then killed the three men. They later on mutilated Sachin’s body and threw it into a well.

In its 133-page judgment, made available on Tuesday, the judges have held that the prosecution has proved the case against the five men, beyond reasonable doubt.

“By not imposing a death sentence to such cases, courts may do injustice to the society at large. If we look at the aggravating circumstances in the present case, the facts of the case and evidence has established, the offence was committed in most deceptive and cruel manner and was diabolic nature,” the bench noted.

The judges further said that all the three victims were defenceless and the crime was unprovoked.

“It is established, the crime was perfectly premeditated and it was committed with brazenness and coldness. The evidence shows that accused committed the crime in the most gruesome manner,” the judges have said.

“The convicts intended to hint at, a section of the society and set example as to what happens, if one belonging to the lower caste ventures to keep relations with a girl from upper class.

Thus, the totality of the facts clearly reflects that the collective conscience of the society was shook after the incident,” the judgment penned down by Justice Shinde, reads.

The bench further opined that the mitigating factors like the young age of the convicts, no antecedents etc. could not be considered as the same is outweighed by the aggravating circumstances. The bench accordingly, held that the case is a ‘rarest of rare.’

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