Death sentence in a rape and murder case overturned on grounds that murder couldn’t be proven: Bombay High Court

The death sentence of a man convicted of killing and raping a teenager on the ground that the accusation of murder could not be proven was quashed by the Bombay High Court through a bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Prithwiraj Chavan in the case of Ashok Baban Mukane v. The State of Maharashtra (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.586 OF 2019)


The victim was returning home on September 5, 2013, when the incident occurred. The victim was walking along the railway tracks when she was approached by the accused, according to the prosecution. After that, he raped her. He allegedly killed her by hitting her in the head with a sharp object after she resisted the accused’s actions.

The accused was found guilty of murder and rape by the Additional Sessions Judge and sentenced to death for murder and life in prison for rape. As a result, he filed an appeal with the High Court.

After establishing that the victim was murdered and raped, the court reasoned that the two offences could have been perpetrated by different people because the murder weapon could not be recovered and the accused showed no signs of resistance.


According to the bench considering a confirmation plea and an appeal against the same sentence, while the accusation of rape was established beyond all reasonable doubts, the prosecution failed to establish the charge of murder.

As a consequence, the court determined that the prosecution had failed to establish any relationship between the victim’s death and the appellant, and so overturned the appellant’s murder conviction under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code,1860. The conviction for rape under Section 376(1) of the Indian Penal Code,1860 was upheld, and he was sentenced to serve time.

In addition to this, the District Legal Services Authority ordered that the victim’s mother be compensated in the amount of Rs. 5 lakh within six months, and the plea was rejected.


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