New Delhi. The Supreme Court has observed that the young age of the victims in rape and murder cases has not been considered by this court to be ‘the sole or sufficient ground’ for awarding death sentence. Along with this, the court referred to its judgment in which 67 similar cases disposed of by it in the last 40 years were analyzed.
This important observation of the court came on the appeal of Erappa Siddappa, who was convicted and sentenced to death by the trial court. The Karnataka High Court had upheld the trial court’s decision on March 6, 2017. Irappa was convicted in 2010 of kidnapping, raping and murdering a five-year-old girl in a village in Karnataka.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai upheld Siddappa’s conviction for the offenses of rape, murder and destruction of evidence but quashed the death sentence and commuted it to life for a period of 30 years. converted to imprisonment.
The judgment written by Justice Khanna on behalf of the bench said, “We find sufficient factors to commute the sentence of death pronounced by the Sessions Court and upheld by the High Court to life imprisonment, with the direction that The appellant shall not be entitled to premature release or remission for the offense under section 302 (murder) unless he has been imprisoned for not less than thirty years.’ The bench also said that the sentences will run concurrently.
The bench did a comprehensive hearing on the grounds of minorities of the victims in rape and murder cases and referred to the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Shatrughan Baban Meshram case, which analyzed 67 Supreme Court judgments over the past 40 years.