In the matter of The State Vs. S, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on 12.01.2022 upheld the death sentence given to a 26- year- old for aggravated penetrative sexual assault and murder of a 7-year-old child from a marginalised community and remarked that
“When the attitude of a man turns into one of a beast having no mercy over other creatures, he should be punished and sent to the eternal world.”
The fact of the case is that the accused had developed friendship with the deceased child to fulfil his sexual desire. One day, in order to satisfy his lust, the accused took the deceased girl to an isolated place and committed the offence of aggravated penetrative sexual assault upon her. Later the accused, fearing that the deceased child would reveal the commission of offence to others, dashed her head against a tree and also pierced the face and neck of the deceased child and threw the body into a dried pond.
FIR came to be lodged and the police arrested the accused. The trial court found the accused guilty under Sections 302, 363, 201 of Indian Penal Code (“IPC”), 5(m) (j)(iv) r/w 6(1) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (‘POCSO Act’) Amendment Act and Section 3(2)(V) of SC/ST Act, 1989 and was sentenced to death.
Observations of the High Court:
- The prosecution had proved the chain of link from the time when the victim child was missing till her dead body found in the dried pond and the link of the accused in the crime has been proved by the prosecution. The victim child is aged 7 years and the accused is aged 26 years and the accused had brutally and inhumanly sexually assaulted the victim child and had caused various injuries on the body of the child and had murdered the victim child. The beastly behaviour of the accused is against nature and human conduct and the case falls within the ambit of rare of the rarest case.
- The bench also made a reference to Adolf Hitler to drive home the point that people can be deceptive and there is no comeback for a person once a line is crossed.
“It is pertinent to mention here that everyone’s mind contains a liar, a cheat and a sinner and a man cannot be judged by his outer appearance, as Adolf Hitler, who ordered the execution of some eight million people and was responsible for the deaths of many millions more, hated cruelty to animals and was a vegetarian. If a person like the accused herein is allowed to survive in this world, he will definitely pollute the mind of other co-prisoners, who will be at the verge of release from jail in which he is confined. When the attitude of a man turns into the one of a beast having no mercy over other creatures, he should be punished and sent to the eternal world.”
- The bench, therefore, held that the brutality of attack, the barbaric manner in which the deceased child was murdered and the mental agony undergone by the parents, necessitates the imposition of death sentence, since no other sentence including life imprisonment will be adequate.
- The court also remarked that they were hesitant at first to take away the life of another person via a judicial order. However, the bench noted that they were reminded of the preaching of Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the battlefield that ‘everyone is going to disappear from the World, even if he (Arjuna) does not shoot the enemies with arrows, even though they are relatives / known persons’ which means that when a particular duty is given to a person, he has to discharge the same without fear or favour.
Therefore, the criminal appeal by the accused under Section 374 CrPC was dismissed and the sentencing of the accused to be hanged till death was confirmed and upheld by the High Court.
– Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – POSH at Work