The death sentence may be remitted to the life imprisonment if this Court comes to the conclusion that no interference is warranted in the appellant’s conviction: HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE

The present CRRFC (Criminal Reference Capital) no. 02 of 2020 is decided accordingly, and the Criminal Appeal No.3665 of 2020 filed by the appellant is hereby partly allowed by HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE in the case of ANKIT V. THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH through HON’BLE JUSTICE SUBODH ABHYANKAR

The facts of the case are that on 02.12.2019, father of the deceased/victim girl along with his wife lodged a report that he is presently staying at a footpath opposite Sai Mandir, Mhow road, Mhow and is engaged in cleaning work near railway station. He also has a daughter around four years old and on 01.12.2019, at around 11 O’ clock in the night when he was sleeping along with his wife and daughter, another person Raju, who is garbage collector was also sleeping nearby. He got up around 5 O’ clock visible morning of 02.12.2019, he saw his four years old daughter to be missing, thus, he and his wife searched their daughter in the nearby areas and came to know that behind Prashanti Hospital in a dilapidated bungalow a body of a girl was lying and when they went to see it, they found that their daughter was lying on a blue plastic sheet, her underwear was missing and frock was got above her waist and her vagina was also swelling. Thus, a report was lodged that some unidentified person had taken the girl while she was sleeping with them and after committing the rape on her has also murdered her. A case at Crime No.485 of 2019 under Sections 363, 366, 376, 376A, 376B, 302 and 201 of IPC and Section 5/ 6 of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was registered. During the course of investigation as the crowed was gathered around the girl’s body, the police was not able to prepare lash Panchnama at the spot and her body was immediately sent to Madhya Bharat Hospital, Mhow where safina forms were also issued and lash panchnama was also prepared. Postmortem was conducted by Dr. M. K. Mahobiya and Dr. Rupali Joshi. The place of incident was also thoroughly investigated upon and various samples were also obtained from the soil and the plastic sheet on which the deceased was lying. A white metal ear ring was also seized from the spot. During the investigation on 04.12.2019 various CCTV footage were also searched in which a person was spotted running holding a girl in his hand and in the CCTV cameras of Chopra Vatika, the aforesaid person was clearly visible, who had put a black colour jacket and white colour shoe. He was also spotted in the CCTV footage of Anand. The CCTV footage were also procured in three different pen drives through Sub Inspector Ravindra Panwar. The person spotted in the CCTV footages was also searched in the area and when it was shown to Virendra of Rupali Pansadan and Gajani @ Ashish of the area, they identified the said person to be the present appellant Ankit Vijayvargiya, who resides in front of Prashanti Hospital and he usually comes to smoke Bidi in his shop. A panchnama to this effect have also been prepared. The aforesaid person was found in his house, who informed his name to be Ankit Vijayvargiya and when inquired about the incident, he confessed having committed the offence. After his arrest, his black jacket, white shoe, an ear ring and mobile were also seized under Section 27 of the Evidence Act.

This court is of the view that ‘capital punishment’ which is not awarded/executed within a reasonable time, loses its importance as a deterrence, as people have a very short memory and such offences usually get into oblivion, waiting for the next one to happen. This court is of the considered opinion that the Government must reconsider the provision of death penalty as a mode of punishment as deterrence so that at least the victims of such crimes would get on with their lives, accepting their fate and would be saved from nurturing a false hope for decades altogether. Be that as it may, considering the totality of the evidence brought on record, viz., the death sentence was awarded to the appellant on the same day on which he was found guilty, depriving the appellant of his valuable right to bring to the notice of the court any mitigating circumstances in his favour, the injuries suffered by the victim, and the fact that the appellant who himself is a father of a minor daughter, is aged 30 years with no criminal record, chances of his rehabilitation cannot be ruled out, as also the various decisions rendered by the Supreme Court dealing with the subject matter, while affirming the conviction of the appellant as recorded by the Trial Court, we find it fit to impose a sentence of Twenty Years instead of Death Penalty on the appellant. The present CRRFC (Criminal Reference Capital) no. 02 of 2020 is decided accordingly, and the Criminal Appeal No.3665 of 2020 filed by the appellant is hereby partly allowed.
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