The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide order dated 15.06.2020 dismissed a Special Leave Petition (Diary No(s). 9597/2020) seeking to impose death sentence on an Accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 by reversing a previously held decision of Hon’ble Telangana High Court.
The order was passed in a Special Leave Petition (State of Telangana Vs Polepaka Praveen) wherein the Petitioner prayed to the Hon’ble Supreme Court to interfere with the previously held decision of the Hon’ble Telangana High Court that had converted the trial court’s judgement imposing death penalty on the Accused into life imprisonment.
The Petitioner in the present matter prayed to the Hon’ble Supreme Court to impose death penalty on the Respondent who was convicted for committing offences under Sections 302, 449, 376A, 376AB, 363, 379 of the Indian Penal Code, and under Sections 5(i) r/w Section 6 and 5(m) r/w Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The Special Judge for trial of cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act at Wanaparthy had punished the Accused with death penalty vide judgement dated 08.08.2019 which was later converted to a term of life imprisonment by the Hon’ble High Court of Telangana vide order dated 12.11.2019.
The Petitioner in the present matter stated that death penalty was included as a punishment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 coming into effect from 06.08.2019 while the said crime was committed on 18/19.6.2019. The Petitioner thus submitted that although the act is prospective in nature, keeping in mind the intent of the Parliament, it should be given retrospective effect thereby sending a strong message to the society.
After hearing the Petitioner, the Coram comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph dismissed the present leave petition stating that it was illogical to grant retrospective effect to a provision that is prospective in nature. Furthermore, the Coram also held that the punishment of life imprisonment was stringent enough to send a message to the society and that it wouldn’t be appropriate to interfere with the Hon’ble High Court’s decision under Article 136 of the Constitution solely for converting the punishment of life imprisonment into death penalty again.
The Special Leave Petition was thus disposed off.
Order:Supreme Court Order