The Division Bench of Gujarat High Court presided by Hon’ble Ms. Justice Bela M Trivedi and Hon’ble Mr.Justice A.C. Rao in the case of Anil Surendrasingh Yadav V. State of Gujarat passed a notable judgement by giving Death Penalty to the accused who was convicted for Rape of Three and a half year old girl by admitting the case into rarest of the rare category.
The present case is an appeal from the judgement passed by the Special Court and Additional Sessions Court sentencing the accused of death penalty for the charges that were framed against him. The accused in the case, has kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered the young girl and then fled away. The death body of the victim was found stuffed in a gunny bag in the apartment of the accused. During the course of the arguments the advocate of the accused raised the contention that “Life Imprisonment is a rule and Death Penalty is an exception.” He also stated that the court should take in account the age of the accused and to see that is there a scope for accused to be reformed. In the case of Bachan Singh V. State of Punjab the Supreme Court has laid down guidelines as to see what are to be consisted as mitigating and aggravating circumstances which are needed to be taken into account before awarding death penalty.
In the present case, the Gujarat High Court stated that after creating a balance sheet of the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the scale of justice has tilted in the favour of the victim. The court stated that the aggravating circumstances are proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution and the mitigating factors i.e no previous criminal record or the plea that the accused could be reformed comes in short. The court in its judgement stated that, “The abhorrent and atrocious nature of crime committed by the appellant/accused in diabolical manner, on the defenceless unprotected girl of 3½ years, without any remorse, has left the Court with no option but to consider the case as the “rarest of rare case” for awarding the punishment of death penalty. Such crimes do not only reflect the abusive facet of human conduct but also shock collective conscience of the society.” Therefore, the Gujarat High Court in the present case decided to uphold the judgement that was passed by both the Special Court and the Additional Sessions Court.
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Link to the judgment: Anil Surendrasingh Yadav v. State of Gujarat