Bhagwani vs State of Madhya Pradesh

Bhagwani vs State of Madhya Pradesh - Supreme Court Case 2022
Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
Criminal Appeal Nos. 101-102 of 2022
(@ SLP (Crl.) Nos.4821-4822 of 2018)
Bhagwani .... Appellant
Versus
The State of Madhya Pradesh …. Respondent

J U D G M E N T
L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.
Leave granted.
1. These Appeals are preferred against the judgment of the
High Court of Madhya Pradesh by which the conviction and
sentence of the appellant by the Trial Court under Sections
363, 366A, 364, 346, 376D, 376A, 302, 201 of Indian Penal
Code, 1860 (“IPC”) and Section 5(g)(m) read with Section 6 of
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (for
short “the POCSO Act”) were upheld.
2. At 9.00 p.m. on 14.04.2017, Brijlal Yadav (PW-2) along
with his wife Kalawati (PW-1), two sons and his daughter went
to the house of Anil Maravi to attend a function of Chowk
Barhon (naming ceremony). While they were returning back
1 | P a g e
at around 11.00 p.m., they realized that their daughter was
missing. They started searching and at about 5:00 AM on the
next day, PW-1 found her daughter lying near a hand-pump.
Her daughter was in an unconscious condition. PW-1 started
howling at which PW-2 and others reached the place and
called the police. The District Scientific Officer, Scene of
Crime Unit, Dindori, Madhya Pradesh conducted inspection of
the place of incident. According to the inspection report, the
body of the deceased was lying in a supine position and on
the back side of the head of the deceased, there were
multiple small pieces of dry grass and Gokhru (Caltrop) in the
hair. There was a dry bark of drumstick tree also in the hair.
Both eyes were closed. Froth from the nose was observed,
small internal injuries were visible and on the left side and
right side of the chin, there were small marks of injury. Small
injury marks were found in front and left side to the neck.
Blood was present in the genitalia. On the sole of the right
leg, there was blood. Blood was also present above the ankle
of the right leg. There were scratch marks on the left side of
the chest and another scratch type of mark below the chest.
Blood spots were found on both thighs up to genitalia. Blood
was found on the back of the thigh and near anus. Small
injury marks were present on the entire back and waist.
2 | P a g e
Directions were given to the investigating officer to send the
body for post-mortem and to collect, preserve and pack the
visible objects found at the place of occurrence. Further
direction was given to seize the clothes worn by the
prosecutrix and get them examined. Post-mortem was
conducted at 4.00 p.m. on 15.04.2017 by PW-6 Dr. Sajjan
Kumar Uikey who found the following injuries: -
" Rigor mortis present in both lower limb and partially
passed in both upper limb. Eye-closed, mouth-closed, fiesthalf open, cornea congested, pupil dilated, face- cyanosed,
lip-cyanosed, finger and· hand- cyanosed. Blood mixed froth
present over the both nostril. Blood mixed saliva both angle
on mouth up to lower margin of mandible. Four contusion
mark over left side of neck, medial aspect of neck. Three
contusion mark on left side of neck middle third size of
contusion between 1 ½ cmx 1 cm. 1 cm x 1 cm. contusion
over both cheek, 1 cm x 1 ' cm. infraorbital left side. 11/2
cm contusion on the left side of xiphisternum. One
intrascapular contusion 1 Y, cm two 1/2 cm x v, cm
contusion over the left buttock. Clotted blood found over the
pink colour aspect dry clotted blood present over the
perinea! area lower middle third of both thigh all around
anal area. Blood present in the vaginal opening three 3 cm.
anterior to posterior and full thickness of muscle and skin.
Dry clotted blood present over the anal opening and inner
aspect of anus. Opening is dilated 2 fingers easily admitted.
All injuries are antemortem in nature."
3 | P a g e
The cause of the death was given as asphyxia,
neurogenic shock due to neck pressing, severe injuries and
bleeding in vagina and anal opening by committing rape
forcefully.
3. On suspicion, the Appellant and Satish s/o Jehar Singh
Dhoomketi were arrested on 16.04.2017. The statement of
Satish was recorded pursuant to which the blanket and shawl
of the deceased and clothes worn by him were seized.
Similarly, the clothes worn by the Appellant which were
concealed in his cowshed were seized pursuant to the
statement made by him. On completion of investigation, the
final report was filed on 27.06.2017. Charges were framed
against Satish and the Appellant under Sections 363, 366-A,
364, 346, 376D, 376A or in the alternative under Sections
302, 201 IPC and Section 5(g)(m) read with Section 6 of the
POCSO Act. 12 witnesses were examined by the prosecution.
The Sessions Judge, Dindori convicted the Appellant and
Satish for the offences charged and sentenced them to death.
The High Court answered the reference against the Appellant
and Satish by upholding the conviction and sentence imposed
by the Trial Court. Aggrieved thereby, the Appellant and
Satish approached this Court. During the pendency of the
Appeals, Satish died and therefore, his Appeal has abated.
4 | P a g e
4. As there is no direct evidence regarding the kidnapping,
rape and murder of a girl aged 11 years, the case hinges on
circumstantial evidence. Keeping in mind the well settled
principles settled by this Court in Sharad Birdhichand
Sarda v. State of Maharashtra
1
, the Trial Court scrutinized
the evidence on record. Reference was made to the
testimony of PW-1 who stated that the Appellant and Satish
were present at the Chowk Barhon function at Anil Maravi’s
house and made themselves scarce after the recovery of the
dead body. Reference was also made to the oral testimony of
PW-4, Chain Singh who runs a small hotel in the village. He
deposed that the victim girl had come to his shop at 9.00 pm
on 14.04.2017 to purchase Kurkure and she had a blanket and
shawl with her. Fifteen minutes thereafter, the Appellant also
visited the shop for purchasing namkeen. The Trial Court
considered the disclosure statements made by the accused
and the recoveries of shawl and blanket of the victim girl and
the clothes of Satish and the Appellant. The seizure of a
blanket and button from the place of incident was proved to
be from the shirt of Satish. The evidence of Dr. Vijay Paigwar
(PW-11) who examined the injuries of Satish and the Appellant
was considered by the trial Court. The Appellant had a
1 (1984) 4 SCC 116
5 | P a g e
scratch mark of size 1 inch on the upper portion of the left
shoulder, scratch mark of size 0.5 inch on left side below
shoulder, scratch mark of size 0.5 inch on the lower portion of
the back of the body, scratch marks of 2 inches on the right
arm and abrasion mark of 1 cm sized on the cheek and 4
inches sized abrasion on the ribs. The answers given by the
Appellant and Satish during their examination under Section
313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“the CrPC”)
were also examined by the Trial Court. The admission of the
Appellant that he had alcohol with Satish on the evening of
the day of incident and that both of them visited Jaipal Singh
(PW-9) and requested for alcohol on the next day morning was
taken note of by the trial Court. The version of the Appellant
that he was taken home by his mother on the night of
14.04.2017 and as she was abusing him, the Appellant went
to the house of his neighbour, Deepa was not accepted by the
Trial Court as neither his mother nor Deepa were examined.
Having been convinced that the circumstances were
consistent with the hypothesis of the Appellant, the Trial Court
convicted them for the offences charged. After hearing the
Appellant and Satish, the Trial Court sentenced them to death
as they were found guilty of committing heinous crimes of
rape and murder. While considering the reference, the High
6 | P a g e
Court re-appreciated the evidence on record and upheld the
conviction and sentence imposed by the Trial Court.
5. Mr. Shri Singh, learned counsel appearing for the
Appellant submitted that none of the discoveries and the
recoveries implicate the Appellant. He argued that the
disclosure statement of Satish was recorded at 1340 hrs. on
16.04.2017 and the disclosure statement of the Appellant was
recorded one and half hours later. Both the statements were
recorded by PW-10. He submitted that the Courts below have
committed an error in relying upon the disclosure statement
of the Appellant. He further stated that none of the articles
that have been recovered from the alleged place of offence
have any connection with the Appellant. According to him,
the packet of Kurkure which was purchased was not identified
in Court by PW-4 from whose shop it was purchased. The
black button seized from the spot of offence is from the shirt
of Satish with which the Appellant had no connection.
Commenting on the seizure of the shirt, red sando baniyan
and jeans pant, Mr. Shri Singh submitted that serological
testing was not done to prove that the blood found on the
clothes was human blood. He argued that the injuries of the
Appellant cannot be taken as a circumstance as he is a
labourer doing physical work. He pointed out that the column
7 | P a g e
of “injury marks” in the arrest memo was found to be blank.
The learned counsel for the Appellant submitted that the
evidence of the accused last seen together with the victim has
not been properly appreciated by the Courts below. He
referred to the evidence of Bhagat Singh (PW-5) and
submitted that the Appellant was apprehended from his
house, and it was only Satish who was absconding. He argued
that the statements made by the Appellant in his examination
under Section 313 CrPC were not appreciated properly. The
learned counsel for the Appellant pointed out that the
admissions made by him in the statement under Section 313
CrPC cannot be treated as substantive evidence. According to
learned counsel for the Appellant, the chain of circumstances
is incomplete and is not consistent with only one hypothesis,
proving the guilt of the Appellant. On the sentence of death,
the learned counsel for the Appellant submitted that there is
violation of the right to fair trial which is guaranteed under
Article 21 of the Constitution of India as effective legal
assistance was not afforded in the instant case. Sufficient
time was not given to the amicus curiae appointed by the
Court to cross-examine witnesses and no opportunity was
given to the Appellant to submit relevant material before
sentencing. Mitigating circumstances have not been taken
8 | P a g e
into consideration. The probability of reformation of the
Appellant and the sentence of life imprisonment being
unquestionably foreclosed were not taken into account by the
Courts below. The learned counsel for the Appellant further
argued that the Appellant could not have been convicted
under Section 376A IPC. After the amendment in 2013, gang
rape was taken out of the ambit of Section 376 (1) and (2) IPC.
The prosecution did not produce any evidence to establish any
common intention between the Appellant and Satish to
commit an offence under Section 376D IPC. Sentence for
commission of gang rape is imprisonment for life. Therefore,
the imposition of death sentence is unsustainable.
6. Ms. Ankita Chaudhary, learned Deputy Advocate General
for the State of Madhya Pradesh defended the judgments of
the Trial Court and the High Court by submitting that there is
no break in the chain of events/ circumstances. According to
her, the prosecution proved that there was a function of
Chowk Barhon at the house of Anil Maravi, the victim was
seen at the shop of Chain Singh (PW-4) and after a short
while, the Appellant visited the shop and PW-5 witnessed the
deceased going to the house of Satish which was corroborated
by Satish in his statement under Section 313 CrPC in which he
admitted that the deceased came to his house to keep her
9 | P a g e
black shawl. The deceased disappeared thereafter, and her
body was found the next day morning. The medical evidence
disclosed brutal rape and murder of the deceased. Scientific
evidence clearly showed that Satish committed the offence of
rape. Satish and the Appellant were seen together on the
evening of 14.04.2017 and they had also visited PW-9 on the
next day morning. They were disheveled and requested PW-9
for liquor. Satish went missing thereafter and was
apprehended in the afternoon. Pursuant to the disclosure
statement, the clothes of the Appellant were seized from the
cowshed in the house of the Appellant. The learned counsel
for the State referred to the injuries on the body of the
Appellant which were not explained by him. She also relied
upon the DNA report prepared by Forensic Science Laboratory
(FSL), Sagar. Specific reference was made to Article D which
was a full pant belonging to the Appellant on which there was
a blood stain near the zip area. Ms. Chaudhary argued that
multiple peaks were observed while examining Article D which
denotes that there is more than one DNA trait on Article D.
The learned counsel for the State further submitted that the
Appellant could not prove his plea of alibi. The Appellant failed
to examine his mother and Deepa in whose house he had
slept on the night of 14.04.2017. Referring to the answers
10 | P a g e
given to questions posed to the Appellant during his
examination under Section 313 CrPC, the learned counsel for
the State relied upon the law laid down by this Court and
submitted that mere denial would provide additional link if the
circumstances are proved. It was argued by the learned
counsel for the State that though the statement under Section
313 CrPC cannot be made the basis for conviction, it can be
used as evidence against the accused to the extent it
supports the case of the prosecution. A helpless girl at a
tender age was mauled to death after being raped and the
Appellant deserves no lenience. The contention of the State is
that there is no error committed by the Trial Court in imposing
the sentence of death on the Appellant for the heinous
offences committed by him.
7. This Court in Dalbir Kaur v. State of Punjab
2
summarized the principles governing interference in a criminal
appeal by special leave as follows: -
“(1) that this Court would not interfere with the
concurrent finding of fact based on pure appreciation of
evidence even if it were to take a different view on the
evidence;
(2) that the Court will not normally enter into a
reappraisement or review of the evidence, unless the
assessment of the High Court is vitiated by an error of law
2 (1976) 4 SCC 158
11 | P a g e
or procedure or is based on error of record, misreading of
evidence or is inconsistent with the evidence, for
instance, where the ocular evidence is totally inconsistent
with the medical evidence and so on;
(3) that the Court would not enter into credibility of the
evidence with a view to substitute its own opinion for that
of the High Court;
(4) that the Court would interfere where the High Court
has arrived at a finding of fact in disregard of a judicial
process, principles of natural justice or a fair hearing or
has acted in violation of a mandatory provision of law or
procedure resulting in serious prejudice or injustice to the
accused;
(5) this Court might also interfere where on the proved
facts wrong inferences of law have been drawn or where
the conclusions of the High Court are manifestly perverse
and based on no evidence.”
This Court exhorted the counsel for the parties to confine
their arguments within the four corners of the above principles
to save time, energy and expertise.
8. The undisputed facts are that PW-2 along with his family
members attended the Chowk Barhon ceremony at the house
of Anil Maravi on the evening of 14.04.2017. His 11 years old
daughter went missing and was found dead on the next day
morning. The Appellant and Satish were arrested on the next
day and on the basis of the statements made by them,
recoveries of their clothes were made. The medical evidence
12 | P a g e
shows that she was raped and killed. A green shirt of check
pattern whose two front black buttons were broken, which is
torn near the shoulder and has blood spot was seized from the
flowerpot on the roof of the cowshed of the Appellant. A red
colour sando baniyan with black stripe which is torn near
shoulder with dark blood spot was also seized along with one
jeans pant of sky blue colour with lining of 28 no. and HARW
was mentioned on the right side back. There was a dark
blood spot in front of the sky-blue jeans pant. The report of
the State Forensic Science Laboratory, Civil Lines, Sagar
showed that all the alleles observed in the male DNA profile of
Satish were found to be the same as the DNA profile observed
from the prosecutrix’s vaginal and rectal slides. Same female
autosomal STR DNA profile was detected on the source of the
deceased prosecutrix, dhoti and underwear of Satish. Insofar
as Article D which is a full pant of the Appellant is concerned,
according to DNA report multiple peaks were observed.
9. The Appellant and Satish were present in the function at
the house of Anil Maravi as deposed by PWs-1, 3 and 5. PW-4
deposed that he runs a small hotel in the village and the
deceased visited his shop to purchase Kurkure at 9.00 p.m.
15 minutes thereafter, the Appellant visited the shop to
purchase namkeen. Jaipal (PW-9) stated that the Appellant
13 | P a g e
and Satish visited his house on 15.04.2017. Their eyes were
red, hair was scattered and they were scared. They informed
him that they have committed a big scandal. At that time,
Munni Bai- the mother of the Appellant came, and Satish and
the Appellant went away. Half an hour later, there was an
uproar in the village when the body of the deceased was
found.
10. During the course of examination of Satish under Section
313 CrPC, he admitted that he was present at the house of
Anil Maravi on 14.04.2017 and that he visited PW-9 on the
morning of 15.04.2017. The Appellant also admitted his
presence at Anil Maravi’s house on 14.04.2017 and at the
house of PW-9 on 15.04.2017 in the morning. He further
stated in his examination under Section 313 CrPC that his
eyes were red, hair was scattered and he and Satish
demanded liquor from PW-9. It is relevant to note that the
Appellant also stated that he had gone to Sudgaon along with
Satish for work at 9.00 a.m. on 14.04.2017. While returning,
he had liquor along with Satish. He visited Anil Maravi’s house
along with Satish at 7.00 p.m. They were asked to leave as
they were in a drunken condition. The Appellant, thereafter,
went to the shop of Chain Singh from where his mother took
him home. He slept in the house of his neighbour, Deepa.
14 | P a g e
11. The Appellant was examined by Dr. Vijay Pegwar (PW-11)
on 17.04.2017 and the following injuries were found on his
body:
i) Scratch mark of 1 inch on the upper side of the
shoulder,
ii) 0.5 inch scratch mark on the lower left shoulder,
iii) 0.5 inch scratch mark on the lower portion on the back
of the body,
iv) 2 inches scratch marks on the right arm,
v) Abrasion mark of 1 cm on cheek, and
vi) 4 inches sized abrasion injury on the right lower
lateral rib. Scratch marks that were found on the body
of Satish were also examined by Dr. Vijay Pegwar.
12. Clothes worn by the Appellant were seized from a
flowerpot on the roof of the cowshed belonging to him
pursuant to the disclosure statement. FSL report pertaining to
Article B which is a full pant of Appellant on which there was a
blood stain near the zip showed multiple peaks. The Appellant
and Satish had alcohol and were together at the house of Anil
Maravi. As they were creating nuisance, they were chased
away. The next day morning, they went to PW-9 and told him
that a big blunder took place. DNA profiling of the articles Q,
R and S which are the vaginal slide, rectal slide and dried
blood on the hair of the deceased showed Y (male) STR.
Blood sample of Satish matched with the articles found on Q,
R and S. The Appellant miserably failed to prove an alibi.
Importantly, there is lack of any explanation for the scratch
15 | P a g e
injuries found on the body of the Appellant. We are in
agreement with the concurrent findings that the Appellant is
guilty of committing the offences as charged and we find no
fault with the conviction of the appellant.
13. It is travesty of justice as the Appellant was not given a
fair opportunity to defend himself. This is a classic case
indicating the disturbing tendency of Trial Courts adjudicating
criminal cases involving rape and murder in haste. It is trite
law that an accused is entitled for a fair trial which is
guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In
respect of the order of conviction and sentence being passed
on the same day, the object and purpose of Section 235 (2)
CrPC is that the accused must be given an opportunity to
make a representation against the sentence to be imposed on
him. A bifurcated hearing for convicting and sentencing is
necessary to provide an effective opportunity to the accused3
.
Adequate opportunity to produce relevant material on the
question of death sentence shall be provided to the accused
by the Trial Court4
.
14. Mr. K.G. Sahu, Advocate appointed through Legal Aid
appeared for the Appellant before the Sessions Court on
3 Santosh Kumar Satishbhushan Bariyar v. State of Maharashtra, (2009) 6 SCC 498
4 Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 12 SCC 460
16 | P a g e
04.07.2017 when the matter was adjourned to 25.07.2017 for
framing of charges. On 25.07.2017, Mr. M.K. Kannaujiya,
Advocate filed his appearance memo. On the same date, the
Trial Court recorded that arguments were heard on the
charges. Charges were framed and the schedule for trial was
given. On 02.08.2017, 9 witnesses were scheduled to be
examined and on 03.08.2017, the remaining witnesses would
be examined. On 02.08.2017, Mr. Kannaujiya, Advocate
represented to the Court that he was not willing to defend the
accused. Mr. Satyendra Yadav, Advocate was appointed to
represent the accused. On the same day, PWs-1,2 and 3 were
examined and on the next day, PWs-4 and 5 were also
examined. Final arguments were heard on 26.10.2017 and
the judgment was dictated on 03.11.2017. On the same day,
the Trial Court passed an order, sentencing the Appellant and
Satish to death penalty.
15. After considering the judgements of this Court in
Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab
5
, Machhi Singh v. State
of Punjab
6
, this Court in Mohd. Mannan @ Abdul Mannan
v. State of Bihar
7
 observed as follows: -
5 (1980) 2 SCC 684
6 (1983) 3 SCC 470
7 (2019) 16 SCC 584
17 | P a g e
“The proposition of law which emerges from the
judgments referred to above is that death sentence
cannot be imposed except in the rarest of rare cases, for
which special reasons have to be recorded, as mandated
in Section 354(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. In
deciding whether a case falls within the category of the
rarest of rare, the brutality, and/or the gruesome and/or
heinous nature of the crime is not the sole criterion. It is
not just the crime which the Court is to take into
consideration, but also the criminal, the state of his
mind, his socio-economic background, etc. Awarding
death sentence is an exception, and life imprisonment is
the rule.”

16. In Mofil Khan and Another v. The State of
Jharkhand
8
, this Court observed as follows: -
“8. One of the mitigating circumstances is the
probability of the accused being reformed and
rehabilitated. The State is under a duty to procure
evidence to establish that there is no possibility of
reformation and rehabilitation of the accused. Death
sentence ought not to be imposed, save in the rarest of
the rare cases when the alternative option of a lesser
punishment is unquestionably foreclosed (See: Bachan
Singh v. State of Punjab 9 ). To satisfy that the
sentencing aim of reformation is unachievable, rendering
life imprisonment completely futile, the Court will have
to highlight clear evidence as to why the convict is not fit
for any kind of reformatory and rehabilitation scheme.
This analysis can only be done with rigour when the
Court focuses on the circumstances relating to the
8 RP (Crl.) No.641 of 2015 in Crl. A. 1795 of 2009
18 | P a g e
criminal, along with other circumstances (See: Santosh
Kumar Satishbhushan Bariyar v. State of Maharashtra
10). In Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik v. State of
Maharashtra 11, 9 (1980) 2 SCC 684 10 (2009) 6 SCC
498 11 (2019) 12 SCC 460 11 | P a g e this Court dealt
with the review of a judgment of this Court confirming
death sentence and observed as under:
45. The law laid down by various decisions of this
Court clearly and unequivocally mandates that the
probability (not possibility or improbability or
impossibility) that a convict can be reformed and
rehabilitated in society must be seriously and
earnestly considered by the Courts before awarding
the death sentence. This is one of the mandates of
the “special reasons” requirement of Section 354(3)
CrPC and ought not to be taken lightly since it
involves snuffing out the life of a person. To
effectuate this mandate, it is the obligation on the
prosecution to prove to the Court, through evidence,
that the probability is that the convict cannot be
reformed or rehabilitated. This can be achieved by
bringing on record, inter alia, material about his
conduct in jail, his conduct outside jail if he has been
on bail for some time, medical evidence about his
mental make-up, contact with his family and so on.
Similarly, the convict can produce evidence on these
issues as well.”
17. A perusal of the judgments of the Trial Court and the
High Court would disclose that the gravity of the crime was
taken into consideration while imposing death sentence. The
mitigating circumstances and the probability of reformation
19 | P a g e
and rehabilitation of the accused have not been considered. It
is relevant to refer to the following observations of this Court
in Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik v. State of Maharashtra
9
:
“47. Consideration of the reformation, rehabilitation and
reintegration of the convict into society cannot be
overemphasised. Until Bachan Singh [Bachan
Singh v. State of Punjab, (1980) 2 SCC 684 : 1980 SCC
(Cri) 580] , the emphasis given by the Courts was
primarily on the nature of the crime, its brutality and
severity. Bachan Singh [Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab,
(1980) 2 SCC 684 : 1980 SCC (Cri) 580] placed the
sentencing process into perspective and introduced the
necessity of considering the reformation or rehabilitation
of the convict. Despite the view expressed by the
Constitution Bench, there have been several instances,
some of which have been pointed out in Bariyar [Santosh
Kumar Satishbhushan Bariyar v. State of Maharashtra,
(2009) 6 SCC 498 : (2009) 2 SCC (Cri) 1150] and
in Sangeet v. State of Haryana [Sangeet v. State of
Haryana, (2013) 2 SCC 452 : (2013) 2 SCC (Cri) 611]
where there is a tendency to give primacy to the crime
and consider the criminal in a somewhat secondary
manner. As observed in Sangeet [Sangeet v. State of
Haryana, (2013) 2 SCC 452 : (2013) 2 SCC (Cri) 611] “In
the sentencing process, both the crime and the criminal
are equally important.” Therefore, we should not forget
that the criminal, however ruthless he might be, is
nevertheless a human being and is entitled to a life of
dignity notwithstanding his crime. Therefore, it is for the
prosecution and the Courts to determine whether such a
9 (2019) 12 SCC 460
20 | P a g e
person, notwithstanding his crime, can be reformed and
rehabilitated. To obtain and analyse this information is
certainly not an easy task but must nevertheless be
undertaken. The process of rehabilitation is also not a
simple one since it involves social reintegration of the
convict into society. Of course, notwithstanding any
information made available and its analysis by experts
coupled with the evidence on record, there could be
instances where the social reintegration of the convict
may not be possible. If that should happen, the option of
a long duration of imprisonment is permissible.”
18. The Appellant was aged 25 years on the date of
commission of the offence and belongs to a Scheduled Tribes
community, eking his livelihood by doing manual labour. No
evidence has been placed by the prosecution on record to
show that there is no probability of rehabilitation and
reformation of the Appellant and the question of an
alternative option to death sentence is foreclosed. The
Appellant had no criminal antecedents before the commission
of crime for which he has been convicted. There is nothing
adverse that has been reported against his conduct in jail.
Therefore, the death sentence requires to be commuted to life
imprisonment. However, taking into account the barbaric and
savage manner in which the offences of rape and murder
were committed by the Appellant on a hapless 11 year old
girl, the Appellant is sentenced to life imprisonment for a
21 | P a g e
period of 30 years during which he shall not be granted
remission.
19. The Appeals are partly allowed. The conviction of the
Appellant under Sections 363, 366A, 364, 346, 376D, 376A,
302, 201 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”) and Section 5(g)
(m) read with Section 6 of The Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences Act, 2012 is upheld and the sentence is
converted from death to that of imprisonment for life for a
period of 30 years without remission.
….............................J.
 [L. NAGESWARA RAO]
….............................J.
[B.R. GAVAI]
….............................J.
[B.V. NAGARATHNA]
New Delhi,
January 18, 2022.
22 | P a g e

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