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The orissa high court has finally decided the split verdict of death sentence of a man accused of murder of 16-year old girl by converting the death sentence into life imprisonment.
The division bench of the court unanimously upheld the guilty but they differ on the point whether the case falls under the purview of rarest of the rare case. To decide on the issue of sentence a single bench judge was called upon.
In 2005, the division bench of orissa high court while answering the death sentence awarded to the accused by the trial court put forth different observations. One of the judges observed that the in the present matter the death sentence is justified as the accused is liable for the murder of a 16 year old girl by inflicting twelve injuries on her by a sharp weapon. While the other judge observed that the accused is a young person without any criminal background or record and thus death sentence is not adequate.
On the issue of the death sentence the judge referred to judgements of the supreme court and observed that the accused was infatuated and was obsessed with the deceased’s physical charm. He was under lot of emotional and psychological disturbance because of the deceased’s passiveness towards accused’s infatuation.
The court in the instant matter observed that the failure of the accused to win the heart of the deceased is in all probability is the cause of frustration and the last meeting of the accused with the accused have led to greatly disturbed the accused emotionally and psychologically to a degree beyond the range of thermostat.
It was further observed by the court that the accused was a bachelor, truck driver and is a member of a family who needs his support. The court further said that the accused did not have any criminal track record and the crime committed by him was not premeditated.
While commuting the death sentence of accused in the life imprisonment the court further stated that a crime to fall under the category of the rarest of rare case the brutality of crime is not the only criteria; it has to be one of extreme brutality and exceptional depravity so as to avoid the criticism that the death penalty has been taken as the norm and not the exception.
The court concluded that the present matter does not fall under the category of the rarest of the rare case.