Death sentence commuted by Calcutta HC of convict of rape and murder of a minor girl

Death sentence commuted by Calcutta HC of convict of rape and murder of a minor girl

The Calcutta High Court recently commuted the death sentence of a man convicted of raping and murdering a minor girl on November 28. The case did not pass the 'rarest of rare' test, according to a division bench of Justices Debangsu Basu and Md. Shabbar Rashidi, despite the fact that the victim was killed in a gruesome manner that left her comatose for 15 days.

"The victim had been raped and murdered. The manner in which the crime had been committed although gruesome cannot be said to come within the purview of rarest of rare cases. We could not convince ourselves that award of death penalty to the appellant in the facts of the present case was justified although, rape and murder had been established conclusively,"

The Court also considered a report filed by the State government, which revealed that the appellant had previously been arrested in 13 criminal cases, seven of which were related to murder.

As a result, while commuting the convict's death sentence to life imprisonment, the Court made it clear that he will be ineligible for sentence reduction for the next 25 years.

"In such circumstances, we commute the death sentence awarded as against the appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of remission for a period of 25 years from the date of his arrest in this police case, taking into account the age of the appellant, the age of the victim and the nature of the crime," 

According to the prosecution case, on May 30, 2019, the appellant entered the victim's house late at night when she was alone. He raped her and then strangled her with a gamcha (cloth) and hit her in the head with an iron rod. The incident was discovered when her mother, who worked as a domestic helper, returned home and discovered the victim in a vegetative state lying on a bed.

The appellant contended that the iron rod recovered from him was widely available in the market and that he was wrongfully implicated in the case.

The Court did note, however, that the prosecution had presented overwhelming evidence at the trial, including evidence from the doctors treating the victim and the doctor conducting the post mortem on the victim, proving that the victim's injuries were caused by a blunt substance such as an iron rod.

Case Title: Kamrujjaman Sarkar @ Kama @ Kamrul vs State of West Bengal

Citation: DR 7 of 2020



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